In a league that is full of offensive firepower and weapons, the Adam Gase led Miami Dolphins attempted to follow the trend. Gase attempted to replicate the success and potency of that historic Broncos offense, but failed. What threw more salt in the wound was watching teams like the Chiefs, Rams, and Saints succeed while being led by their respective quarterbacks. Now I know that Dolfans will read this and go straight to the "Dolphins/Tannenhill failed the other" conversation but I'm asking that you look deeper. I'm here to talk about where the Dolphins are heading and what they will need to succeed in the future.
I'm talking about franchise quarterbacks.
When someone says franchise QB, it can truly mean a number of things. Does it mean that they have to be "Elite" like Brady or Rodgers? Does it mean that they have to be a 1st round blue chipper like Haskins, Murray, and the 2020 class? Does it mean Superbowl/playoff success? How about regular season wins? I'm sure you catch my point...So this begs the question, what does "Franchise QB" mean for the Miami Dolphins? Lets take a look.
Of course Miami would enjoy having an elite quarterback and probably will strive to do so somewhere in the next few drafts. But lets be honest, Tom Brady or Aaron Rodgers are not going to walk in the door out of nowhere. So lets move on from that thought.
Drafting a quarterback is realistic and provides (For the most part) optimism and hope for an organization. But just drafting a QB, even in the 1st round, does not make a player a franchise quarterback. For as many Dan Marinos and Peyton Mannings there have been Ryan Leafs and Jamarcus Russells in the world. Which leads us to my main point...
The Miami Dolphin's best/quickest chance to win consistently is to run an offense centered around a system based quarterback.
Now I am identifying this as a bare minimum for the Fins. I look around the league and I have seen guys like Jered Goff, Eli Manning,and Joe Flacco go to (And in Manning and Flacco's case win) Superbowls. Hell there are some people in social media world who would argue that Brady is a result of the system he plays in (I don't agree but to each their own). We have seen guys struggle in systems after being considered a franchise quarterback, such as Kirk Cousins going from Washington to Minnesota. We have seen individuals who could be successful franchise quarterbacks but have been let down by the system's flaws and/or their skillset not blending with the system (Ryan Tannenhill anyone?) It is not necessarily a bad thing for the Dolphins to find someone whos skill set can run Flores' offense that isnt considered a top tier quarterback.
Now one could argue that Miami has that system's based quarterback in Tannenhill, and that they let him down due to the pieces that are surrounded him (most notably the offensive line). Its true, maybe (I don't believe so) Ryan can be the system QB for Flores and the offense he dreams of running. But running the system is not only X and Os, its about the surrounding parts. And under failed regimes, that's where Miami has to make the biggest improvement, not at quarterback. Having solidified personnel will make finding a franchise quarterback (Elite or systems) easier and allow for more risk taking (Like drafting a stud rookie or trading up for one). This practice was successfully performed in Kansas City.
The Dolphins have the blueprint of how to win. They want to be physical in the trenches, have players do their jobs, and be versatile. If we stumble upon an "Elite" quarterback by luck (Because that's the only way it would truly happen) then so be it. But Miami should truly focus on rebuilding the supporting cast on offense and a defense that can produce on the road no matter the environment , weather, and etc. It is easier said than done but that is the task Chris Grier and the Dolphins have. Flores is tasked with creating a system that is sustainable as a unit, and not relying on one person to make things happen like the Fins have in the past. And the Dolphins need a system based franchise quarterback.
This story was written by Carlos Camacho. Follow him on Twitter: @DolfansVoice
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