It's a mess in Miami. Reporters are reporting, players aren't playing, and fans are fanning flames. Of course, there's a lot of frustration going around the organization, and rightfully so. A team that was on the fast track to a playoff berth suddenly had the wheels fall off their wagon at a ridiculously fast pace. The offensive line's anchor went down for the count, the defensive line lost its edge, and the secondary seemed to forget the basics of covering receivers.
Now the season is over, and one last bit of drama regarding the nature of the benching or non-benching of wide receiver Mike Wallace has prompted a storm of finger pointing and anonymous reports that may or may not contradict other anonymous reports. If there's but one thing that can definitely be taken away from all of this, it's that the Miami Dolphins organization has some serious issues in-house.
That's vague to say the least. Where exactly are the problems is what we all want to know. Is it because of head coach Joe Philbin's lack of leadership qualities? Is it because the owner Stephen Ross has a terrible sense of timing with his announcements? Is it because the team itself is lacking in any leader figures to keep the team in the check? Or is it some horrible concoction of all of these factors? Regardless of what it is, the team now needs to look into what to do about it. Here's my solution.
That's not a typo, that's not me being crazy, that's my honest to goodness solution to this whole disgusting mess that the Dolphins have found themselves in. Don't do anything, just stop reacting to every little thing that happens, because it's just making things worse.
The organization and the fanbase are all suffering from a severe case of vertigo thanks to this rollercoaster ride of a 2014 season. First the Dolphins were on top of the world because they beat the New England Patriots soundly thanks to a lot of help from Knowshon Moreno, who likely will not be back to play running back for the team next season.
Then the Dolphins were the laughing stock of the NFL because they went into Buffalo and got their butts handed to them on a silver platter by a team that was led by EJ Manuel at the time, and boasted a vicious one-two punch of a running back duo in CJ Spiller and Fred Jackson. An elite defensive line that made swiss cheese of Ryan Tannehill's interior offensive line made things better for Buffalo too.
Then after another embarrassing loss to the Chiefs at home, Philbin made headlines by not committing to Ryan Tannehill as the starting quarterback, which led to speculation about whether or not Tannehill could ever be a franchise quarterback, and whether Bill Lazor had actually made things better or worse for Tannehill, and whether Philbin had proved himself insensitive and incompetent by not handling this sort of thing in-house.
Tannehill and the Dolphins answered back by going to London and crushing the Oakland Raiders, and the narrative became that Philbin might have actually been a genius for lighting a fire under Tannehill's feet and putting him back on the track towards being a star.
Then the fanbase's hearts were broken again. The Dolphins had a win locked up, but instead of getting aggressive and trying to let the offense win the game against the Green Bay Packers, Philbin instead decided to give the ball back to Aaron Rodgers and he promptly marched down the field and won the game for the Packers. Mind you, offensive coordinator Bill Lazor came out and said he wanted to be aggressive, and Philbin said he was queasy regarding the decision. Thusly, all of the Queasy Joe memes were born.
I could go on forever but the point has been made. The rollercoaster ride has finally come to a stop, and while some fans enjoyed the ride and are excited about what comes next, there are also those who got sick while riding and are now wobbling their way to a trash can so they can toss their cookies, and all they can think about is how terrible the ride was, losing sight of what's ahead.
Let's take a step back, take a deep breath, have some tea and calm our upset stomachs. We have our quarterback for the next ten years, we have two very good running backs in Lamar Miller and upcoming player Damien Williams. We've got the fiery Jarvis Landry, the developing Dion Sims, there's a lot of talent on this squad even if players like Odrick and Clay don't get brought back. The future is bright, let's remember that.
Now let me address what's making everyone ill. Joe Philbin is back. Yes, I know, it's not what we wanted, but it is what it is. Let's see what happens since Tannehill won't have to learn his third system in four years. Also, Philbin and Hickey worked together to find their talent for last year in the draft. Maybe they make a good team. Is it a lame argument? Probably, and I'm not even trying to defend Philbin, but it's there nonetheless.
Mike Wallace. He's talented, he's fast, defenses prepare just for him, but he's a diva. He gets upset when his numbers aren't there and he always seems to find a way to cause unnecessary drama. His amount of effort has come into question and his dedication to the team has done the same. I know, it's terrible, he really messed up by putting on the show that he did, but let's take a moment to breathe and let everyone regain their bearings.
We're emotional, the players are emotional, we're all angry and frustrated and bitter and whatever adjective you pull out of your thesaurus to describe how much of a disappointment the season's end was, I am too. However, to a certain extent, I enjoyed the ride and liked what I saw regarding the future. There's serious talent waiting in the wings, and if Philbin gets fired after next year, the person brought in to replace him will likely have a lot of fun with the young talent. So take a deep breath, and stop giving knee-jerk reactions to everything that happens. Be methodical, because the next ride is waiting for us just around the corner.
This column was written by Luis Sung. Follow him on Twitter: @FLSportDebater
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