Well here we are in early December and its just like ground hog day. Miami is practically, not mathematically, out of the playoff picture and the fans are left trying to evaluate the team and what its prospects are for the future. Its tough because there are enough bright moments to keep your hopes up. Tannehill is accurate, tall, great arm, mobile, smart with the football and shows all of those attributes on the field, but just like the Dolphins, he doesn’t show you enough to convince you completely that he’s on the right track. Take the last game as an example. He didn’t throw a pick, but had a fumble. He made a few plays, just not enough of them. He made a few tough throws and missed some easy ones. His inconsistency is what you would expect from a first year QB. This weird, inconsistent trait is also what characterizes the team in general.
Miami has a lot of decisions to make this off-season. Jake Long has likely seen his last days as a Dolphin unless he restructures his contract and takes a great deal less money to stay. Reggie Bush is likely gone as well. He’s a great player but given the benching you get the feeling he’s not in the future plans of Philbin. So last year when this team reeled off 6 wins in their last 9 games you kind of got the feeling they had turned a corner. Then a coaching and scheme change has dictated further changes to the roster. So here we sit again. We’ll probably watch further dismantling of the roster that was built by previous coaching staffs and players like Long and Bush will be casualties. Many of us fans are becoming restless with what appears to be an endless revolving door of quality players. The reasoning that they don’t fit the scheme just doesn’t make sense. Bush is built for the west coast offense. He’s an extremely versatile player who inexplicably gets overlooked in the passing game. For now, this is Philbin’s Team and what he decides is gospel. That could change quickly next season if the team doesn’t show improvement.
I’ve never done this, but I’ll offer my two cents worth. If I were king for a day, here’s the changes I’d make.
1. Daniel Thomas would be the first down back. Anything over 2nd and 5 would bring Bush on the field.
2. I’d open up the offense on first down. I think the run-pass ratio in the first 3 quarters is like 75% run, 25% pass. Defenses the last 5 weeks have keyed, and counted on, Miami handing the ball off on first down. I’m talking play action here with Clay, Lane and Thomas getting a lot of those balls.
3. I’d throw the ball 65-35 for the rest of the season. RT needs to get the reps and trying to win games right now is only going to succeed in hurting draft order. Play for pride? If this team had pride they wouldn’t be 5-7. They went through a 3 game losing streak to some of the worst teams in the NFL. Pride would’ve won a couple of those.
4. Miami has possession guys, they have a slot guy…the only guy who can stretch the field is Rishard Matthews. He should be the number 3 WR the rest of the season.
5. Egnew – play him or cut him. It is that simple. Either this guy has skill that hasn’t translated to the fiel d in practice, or he’s a complete bust and is taking up roster space.
6. Give Jones a more active blitzing role. The kid is already all over the field. Let’s exploit that talent.
Miami may have a bright future if Ryan Tannehill continues to improve. A good QB can overcome a lot of talent deficiences. Miami needs to take off the training wheels and let him air it out. For the old school folks...Don Coreyell type of air it out. For the young guys....Patriots-style. Throw, throw and then when you think you want to run it...throw it again.