Sports Illustrated Predicts A 3-13 Season For The Miami Dolphins

fansinceGWilson

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Let's keep this broad, for now...and let's take aside the QB position altogether.

This was a team that was built over the course of three years to try and win games within an Adam Gase offense and a Matt Burke defense. The front office attempted to specialize the roster in order to accomplish that. Just because they ultimately failed to produce a winning roster, does not mean they failed to specialize the personnel.

On defense, we are switching from a Matt Burke defense to a Brian Flores/Bill Belichick defense. It is a MASSIVE change, at multiple levels of the defense. I suppose it's theoretically possible to make a bigger switch. But it's hard to fathom it happening in real life.

On offense, there's a switch from Mike Martz offense, that had some shades of Josh McDaniels added into it (mostly the use of No Huddle and Hurry Up, which never really caught on in Miami anyway)...to being more of a straight up Josh McDaniels offense centered on the Erhardt-Perkins way of teaching/structuring the play calls. This is a pretty average system change. It shouldn't be considered particularly easy, nor particularly difficult (unlike the defensive switch). What probably exacerbates the switch is the signaling that the team is going to switch to a run-oriented/power/play-action attack. That was very NOT Adam Gase.

In order to lubricate these significant system changes, they drafted/signed....who again? Christian Wilkins and a bunch of scratch-off tickets?

They have the lowest cash payroll in the NFL this year. They did not acquire a load of new personnel in order to try and facilitate the system switches.

On offense, it seems very likely that most of the "starters" at the skill positions (3 WR, 1 RB, 1 TE), as well as 4 of the 5 linemen, will be holdovers from the previous regime. And on defense, it seems very likely that 9 of the 11 starters will be holdovers as well.

The newcomers on both sides are mostly rookies (Michael Deiter, Christian Wilkins). Pretty much only two veterans (Dwayne Allen and Eric Rowe) were acquired specifically because their experience level should facilitate the system switches, and neither would be expected to be starters anywhere else.

There's either going to be a serious misfit problem between personnel and system, or there are going to be a bunch of semi-pro caliber players getting real snaps. That's where this is heading. And yeah that kind of does feel like the profile of a team that goes 3-13.
First, I 'liked' your post. So, based on your post, I agree. I do want to point out a few things - uncertain if we agree or not.
First, Miami jettisoned a QB who seemed unable to read Ds or set protections. RF is better at both. Rosen is unknown.
The D dumped the wide 9. Burke is gone. Those need no further discussion.
I lost count of the number of times, even late in season, when the D seemed confused in their assignments. Guys pointing in opposite directions. A receiver wide open and the closest defender was a concession guy, meanwhile 2-3 defenders on one guy.
O was no better. Was there a quarter when the D DIDN'T have an unblocked rusher? Would any HS coach put Gesicki one-on-one against the D's best pass rusher? Would any HS coach play soft coverage on 3rd and 2? How many sweeps did fans see on 3rd and 1?
My point is, while I agree on the personnel side, I can see improvement for no other reason than I expect players to know their assignments. I expect more cerebral QB play. I expect play-calling on both sides of the ball to be better. Now, I must add, a number of these 'improvements' I see are not guaranteed and based on how inept Gase and circus were. Gase won 7 with a keystone-cops outfit. I don't see 4 wins as difficult unless Flores is Gase's evil twin.
 

lynx

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Well, QBs have been standing back there with all day to throw for several years now, and we won more than 3 games
I wonder if that's really true, I know we are close to last in sacks but maybe not pressures, seems Wake was pretty good at that, but I don't have the stats.
 

NBP81

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My point is, while I agree on the personnel side, I can see improvement for no other reason than I expect players to know their assignments. I expect more cerebral QB play. I expect play-calling on both sides of the ball to be better
Why do you expect that? The HC, OC and DC are all rookies in those spots, what makes you think that they have better than coinflip odds of being an upgrade?
 

PhxSunFan34

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Why do you expect that? The HC, OC and DC are all rookies in those spots, what makes you think that they have better than coinflip odds of being an upgrade?
This is my Q too. We need to stop assuming things are upgrades until we see them in action.
 

fansinceGWilson

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Why do you expect that? The HC, OC and DC are all rookies in those spots, what makes you think that they have better than coinflip odds of being an upgrade?
I expect that because the bar is exceedingly low. Any poster here is an improvement on Burke. Gase seemed to call plays and expect all 11 to complete their assignments, even when facing future HOF defenders. Fans saw no efforts or interests in reducing penalties or missed assignments. No, I have no guarantees all those will improve, but the effort by the coaches seems to be there and a lot of flaws in the '18 team were associated with lack of discipline.
 

tcdrover

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Who cares what the press has to say... about ANYTHING? :p

I stopped betting on sports when i was a teenager.

I would bet money that they win at least 5 games.

But, that said...

There is no reason for ANYONE who is not a Dolphin fan or related to any Dolphins players or coaches to expect wins.

They have a rookie head coach and have not been in the playoffs since the 2008 season.
 

NBP81

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I expect that because the bar is exceedingly low. Any poster here is an improvement on Burke. Gase seemed to call plays and expect all 11 to complete their assignments, even when facing future HOF defenders. Fans saw no efforts or interests in reducing penalties or missed assignments. No, I have no guarantees all those will improve, but the effort by the coaches seems to be there and a lot of flaws in the '18 team were associated with lack of discipline.
There's nothing in that argument that suggests that the Fins are in better shape coaching wise, unless you really put alot of weight into "the bar is exeedingly low"... The Fins roster as is, regardless of coaching, is not well suited to pass the ball efficiently and sure as hell aint gonna scare any opposing OC when it comes to stoping them from from passing efficiently.

So in reality, no matter how low you think the bar was with the previous coaching staff, it really doesnt matter at this point... If you want wins, you'll need a great coaching staff, not one that merely surpasses the previous one... Considering they're all rookies in their current positions, you really have nothing to stand on.
 

Rowdy1972

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Let's keep this broad, for now...and let's take aside the QB position altogether.

This was a team that was built over the course of three years to try and win games within an Adam Gase offense and a Matt Burke defense. The front office attempted to specialize the roster in order to accomplish that. Just because they ultimately failed to produce a winning roster, does not mean they failed to specialize the personnel.

On defense, we are switching from a Matt Burke defense to a Brian Flores/Bill Belichick defense. It is a MASSIVE change, at multiple levels of the defense. I suppose it's theoretically possible to make a bigger switch. But it's hard to fathom it happening in real life.

On offense, there's a switch from Mike Martz offense, that had some shades of Josh McDaniels added into it (mostly the use of No Huddle and Hurry Up, which never really caught on in Miami anyway)...to being more of a straight up Josh McDaniels offense centered on the Erhardt-Perkins way of teaching/structuring the play calls. This is a pretty average system change. It shouldn't be considered particularly easy, nor particularly difficult (unlike the defensive switch). What probably exacerbates the switch is the signaling that the team is going to switch to a run-oriented/power/play-action attack. That was very NOT Adam Gase.

In order to lubricate these significant system changes, they drafted/signed....who again? Christian Wilkins and a bunch of scratch-off tickets?

They have the lowest cash payroll in the NFL this year. They did not acquire a load of new personnel in order to try and facilitate the system switches.

On offense, it seems very likely that most of the "starters" at the skill positions (3 WR, 1 RB, 1 TE), as well as 4 of the 5 linemen, will be holdovers from the previous regime. And on defense, it seems very likely that 9 of the 11 starters will be holdovers as well.

The newcomers on both sides are mostly rookies (Michael Deiter, Christian Wilkins). Pretty much only two veterans (Dwayne Allen and Eric Rowe) were acquired specifically because their experience level should facilitate the system switches, and neither would be expected to be starters anywhere else.

There's either going to be a serious misfit problem between personnel and system, or there are going to be a bunch of semi-pro caliber players getting real snaps. That's where this is heading. And yeah that kind of does feel like the profile of a team that goes 3-13.

Everyone on this board should have to read this multiple times so when we start out 0-4 and 1-7 we don't have total meltdowns. This is an organized tank (rebuild/organic tank however you want to sugarcoat it) and I have said it from the beginning. I'm excited to see where this organization is going even though they haven't really started the hard part. The actual rebuild. The part where we should really judge the FO.
 

Kamelion4291

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I'm sorry...as bereft of talent as we are supposed to be, I must be looking through rose-colored glasses because I see the talent at almost every position.
Where?

QB: The worst quarterback situation in the league. I know people love the idea of Fitzmagic, but take a look at this dude's game logs for his entire career. He has at most 2 games a season where he looks like Peyton Manning, but the rest of the games are mediocre or just plain terrible. Last year "Fitzmagic" was because he had THREE of those games and they all happened to come early. After that he looked again like the QB that you want on the bench because he throws 6 picks in a game which is why he was benched for Jameis, who isn't even good. And this is the guy that will STILL start over Rosen which tells you about how good he actually is.
OL: We have one legitimate offensive lineman and the rest haven't proven to be anything other backup caliber players that are now starting by default.
TE: Our tight ends are either sophomore players that were invisible as rookies, a hurt veteran, or castoffs.
WR: Our wide receivers are pretty good, so that part of the team has some talent. Not worried there, even if Wilson is still rehabbing.
RB: While Drake is talented and Ballage was pretty decent, we have nobody that has shown that are capable of consistently getting tough yards which is highly important. The addition of a FB though should help a lot.

DL: We have the worst defensive line in the league, and it's not even remotely close. I could count the number of career sacks for our DEs on my hands and they're not exactly rookies. Despite our DEs being completely abysmal and will be the main reason why we won't win many games, we have 2 DTs in Godchaux and Taylor that are pretty good/decent, but we still lack rotational depth there.
LB: Can they get off blocks to stop physical rushing teams? Can they cover TEs and RBs in space? The answer to both those questions has been no.
DB: X is a monster and if they actually settle Fitzpatrick into slot corner, that's two potential elite DBs, but as for the rest... Reshad Jones would've already been cut if his contract wasn't basically guaranteed this season, McDonald can't cover, and we have no other corners of note so it's a free green light to just ignore Howard the whole season.

Look, I know there are a lot of diehard fans that for some reason need to believe that this team has a chance to do something, but however much you want to try and convince yourselves that there was some addition by subtraction going on there, it's just fiction. Fitzpatrick is going to have his 2 games a season where he destroys teams and then reverts to being a pick machine, gets benched, and then Rosen is going to play so safe and scared that it won't be enough to win a game the rest of the season unless we get super lucky.

It is what it is. Just take solace in the fact that being this bad is actually FOR something, rather than us signing big free agents every year just to choke under the pressure of a playoff chase while we constantly embarrass ourselves on national TV.
 

Mach2

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First, I 'liked' your post. So, based on your post, I agree. I do want to point out a few things - uncertain if we agree or not.
First, Miami jettisoned a QB who seemed unable to read Ds or set protections. RF is better at both. Rosen is unknown.
The D dumped the wide 9. Burke is gone. Those need no further discussion.
I lost count of the number of times, even late in season, when the D seemed confused in their assignments. Guys pointing in opposite directions. A receiver wide open and the closest defender was a concession guy, meanwhile 2-3 defenders on one guy.
O was no better. Was there a quarter when the D DIDN'T have an unblocked rusher? Would any HS coach put Gesicki one-on-one against the D's best pass rusher? Would any HS coach play soft coverage on 3rd and 2? How many sweeps did fans see on 3rd and 1?
My point is, while I agree on the personnel side, I can see improvement for no other reason than I expect players to know their assignments. I expect more cerebral QB play. I expect play-calling on both sides of the ball to be better. Now, I must add, a number of these 'improvements' I see are not guaranteed and based on how inept Gase and circus were. Gase won 7 with a keystone-cops outfit. I don't see 4 wins as difficult unless Flores is Gase's evil twin.
While I agree that the coaching/game planning has a good chance of being better than in tge Gase era, particularly on the defensive side of tge ball, how much better remains to be seen. There is a lot of open space between Burke, and "good".

Also, even though I am not a Thill fan, I believe he was consistently average. He had his clunkers, but for the most part, didn't stray far from his mediocre self.

Good Fitz is quite a bit better than average RT, but bad Fitz is horrible. You don't know what you will get from week to week.
 

NBP81

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Look, I know there are a lot of diehard fans that for some reason need to believe that this team has a chance to do something, but however much you want to try and convince yourselves that there was some addition by subtraction going on there, it's just fiction.
I was very surprised by the results of the poll on if the team should fire Flores if the Fins happened to have the worst record in the league. I mean 9+ out of 10 voted for keeping him. That being said, Im starting to get the vibe where people are fine with a 3-13 record as long as the team looks solid... I dont want to **** on anyone's parade but that kind of stuff doesnt happen, 3-13 teams dont look solid in the process.
 

ckparrothead

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Everyone on this board should have to read this multiple times so when we start out 0-4 and 1-7 we don't have total meltdowns. This is an organized tank (rebuild/organic tank however you want to sugarcoat it) and I have said it from the beginning. I'm excited to see where this organization is going even though they haven't really started the hard part. The actual rebuild. The part where we should really judge the FO.
Step 1 of this whole thing is to spend a year figuring out which of the players already here are worth building around in the new systems.

That's why right now it looks like only about 11 of the 35 players you'd expect to get significant snaps in the season's rotation are actually new players, and of those 11 new players, only 2 of them are veteran known quantities (Ryan Fitzpatrick, Dwayne Allen). The other 9 new guys are developmental dice rolls that are looking to prove themselves with increased opportunities (Josh Rosen, Chandler Cox, Chris Reed, Michael Deiter, Christian Wilkins, Tank Carradine, Nate Orchard, Eric Rowe, Jomal Wiltz).

So this is going to be a whole year of spring training. Some of these guys will be worth building around, and many of them won't. There will be a lot more roster work done in 2020, cutting away the holdovers that don't need to be here, and surrounding them with new investments.

That's what "taking a step back in order to take a step forward" looks like. They're going to spend a year shopping inside their own closet before they hit the mall.
 

Kamelion4291

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I was very surprised by the results of the poll on if the team should fire Flores if the Fins happened to have the worst record in the league. I mean 9+ out of 10 voted for keeping him. That being said, Im starting to get the vibe where people are fine with a 3-13 record as long as the team looks solid... I dont want to **** on anyone's parade but that kind of stuff doesnt happen, 3-13 teams dont look solid in the process.
Are we in every game until lack of depth catches up? Do we look like we come to play? Are we coming into the game week to week obviously looking to counter other teams' advantages while trying to hide our weaknesses? Are we better at the end of the season than the beginning?

It's not always about just wins and losses. We fluked into 6 wins last year, but spent most of the year getting blown out. I just want to know that we're getting better as time goes on because we're going to probably be out-manned every week so wins and losses shouldn't be the only barometer for a "successful" season. I'm also anxious to see if any potential stars pop up from our young players.

Basically, anything that leads me to believe that in 2020 when we should get a big talent boost, the front office and coaching staff knows what to do with it and won't blow it.
 
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