It seems that every single year, the Miami Dolphins find a way to get everyone's hopes up, only to fall extremely short of expectations. For four seasons, Joe Philbin "led" the Miami Dolphins to four straight seasons of average at best and bad at worst. Here's a quick recap.
And yes, just for full disclosure, Dan Campbell did technically finish the 2015 season as the interim head coach after Joe Philbin was fired after Week 4. But ultimately, that too fell apart and Campbell is now on Sean Payton's staff in New Orleans as the assistant head coach and (naturally) tight ends coach.
So the cycle continued. Mike Tannenbaum, Chris Grier and Stephen Ross were once again looking for the man who would find a way to turn the franchise around, and they chose highly touted offensive coordinator Adam Gase, due to his reputation with quarterbacks and the rave reviews and endorsements given to him by players, coaches, and future Hall of Famers (e.g. Peyton Manning).
His first year in the league, things started slow and then picked up in midseason, and everyone loved Gase for turning the Dolphins into a winning juggernaut, and Jay Ajayi emerged as a star running back. All was well in Dolphins land.
Then Ryan Tannehill sprained his ACL after Calais Campbell, now of the Jaguars, went low and took him out of the game. Matt Moore was then responsible for getting Miami the rest of the way, and the Dolphins clinched their first playoff berth since 2008.
They didn't get past the Steelers in the Wild Card, but that's another story for now.
The point is, Miami was 10-6 and everyone thought Gase was a genius, that he was a mastermind who somehow knew more than everyone around him.
Then 2017 happened, and everything crashed and burned before the season started. Let's have another recap.
- Ryan Tannehill re-injures his ACL in training camp and this time gets surgery for it, ending his season.
- Rookie LB Raekwon McMillan injures his ACL in the first play of his first preseason game, on a special teams play.
- Developing CB Tony Lippett tore his Achilles tendon in practice before the season and his season ended.
- LB Koa Misi, who was projected to be in a backup role, never played and spent the year on IR as well.
At the time, no one believed this would be a huge deal, and for a brief period of time, when the Dolphins signed Jay Cutler to a $10 million dollar deal to replace Tannehill, people were actually able to place themselves under the delusion that Cutler was a better QB than Tannehill.
Thank God that nightmare is over, but I digress.
The point is, injuries seriously sabotaged the Dolphins seasons, as well as losing their bye week due to Hurricane Irma blowing through, and then more injuries during the season, and the scandal with Chris Foerster, the list goes on and on. But in the end, all that anyone cares about is that Miami went 6-10.
Fans want a new QB, new coach, new everything. Fans scream Ryan Tannehill is not good and Adam Gase is a moron...even though both are one year removed from a playoff berth and literally had everything that could go wrong, go wrong.
I will be the first to admit that the 2017 season left me as demoralized as I'd ever been, it was painful to watch, painful to tweet about, and basically the frustration over the team made it impossible to hang out on social media because everyone was angry at each other for basically the same reasons.
It's time to move on, and contrary to particular belief, things are not as bad as they seem.
There is a silver lining to be had, even if Jarvis Landry moves on to another team, which seems to be more and more likely as time goes on. It may not seem possible, but I will gladly explain why there is reason to be hopeful for next season and beyond, despite what others out there want to say.
Once again, let's recap, and this time I'll use bulletpoints to really get the point across.
With all of these points taken under consideration, there's no reason to believe the Dolphins won't improve from last year's nightmare season. It was something we'll remember for a long time, and it may even haunt some of us because of how painful it was to watch.
But rest easy Dolphins fans, the nightmare is over. With Tannehill and Gase, Miami was 10-6, and the team should become more talented in 2018 after another draft goes by. We now have seen what works and what doesn't, and I am positive that Gase is aware of it too.
Progress is coming.
So let's lick our wounds and begin to heal, and keep our eyes on the silver and aqua lining that is shining through the dark cloud of the 2017 season.
This story was written by Luis Sung. Follow him on Twitter: LuisDSung