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How Do We Escape the 3-Year Mediocre Cycle?

Discussion in 'Miami Dolphins Forum' started by KeyFin, Dec 31, 2018.

  1. KeyFin

    KeyFin Well-Known Member

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    Gase is fired after three seasons. So was Philbin and Sparano. Maybe one of them made it 4 years? It was such boring football, I honestly forget....and that's the entire problem.

    So now we're switching up GM's, head coaches and likely quarterbacks. What are our assets? A top-5 secondary, a few elite receivers/RB's and lots of young, developing players. That's attractive to someone on the outside looking in, and I think it's a plus that Tannehill could start or the next coach gets to pick his own quarterback. Leaders love options, and the Miami Dolphins have a ton of them.

    What will that next leader do? Their main priority will be "digging out the trenches". We need two guards and/or a center, some interior linemen and definitely a few edge guys that can get consistent pressure. Could they already be on our roster? Maybe, that depends on the scheme. That's why the most important aspect is who they bring to the party with them- coordinators, line coaches, QB whisperers, etc.

    Then what? Okay, we probably draft a stud LB or D lineman in the first round. Maybe we grab a few linemen and a corner after that. The roster itself looks decent, but who's taking the helm at quarterback? Surely not Tannehill. But the kid absorbs offenses like a sponge and he's always upbeat, plus he blows you away in practice. Let's hope we cut ways ASAP and the new coach doesn't get to see that stuff in training camp.

    Here's my problem though- Ross was asked in the press conference, "What if the team goes 3-13 next season on the way to building a true long term contender?" His answer was, "I hope not, but whatever it takes." And that terrifies me.

    We just went 7-9 and fired a coach for that. And we're already saying 3-13 is okay in the first year of what will likely be another 3-year experiment. That's fine if the plan is Suck for Luck II, but nothing gave me that indication from Ross's words. He expects us to be between 6-10 to 10-6 next year, by hiring "football players who want to win."

    Tell me this people...what players don't want to win? I'm 45 and used to play football, plus I want to win really bad. Could I start at quarterback next season? Pretty please?

    I do like that Ross handed off all decisions to Grier....and I know nothing about the guy except his name isn't Stephen Ross (his key benefit so far). Once again, we're rolling the dice with one person being a mastermind to figure everything out in the next 60 days, and I'm sorry folks....I just don't have the faith.

    Why'd we fire Gase? According to Ross, "because he wants to win now. Every 4th year coach wants to win now."

    But I'm confused....Ross wants people who wants to win. But we fired Gase because he wants to win now? Are you guys following the incredibly ridiculous logic here? It may be the dumbest thing I've ever heard a team owner say out loud.

    As I said, I don't know anything about Grier. Hopefully he's a mastermind because the people around him clearly aren't. And hopefully he has more of a plan than finding young talent that raises their hands when he asks the room, "Who likes winning at stuff?"

    Again, my hand is raised. Tag me in coach...I like winning a lot! Just ask my family how many times I've lost at Monopoly around our dining room table over the past 2 decades! Zero. Nada. I'm a ruthless winning machine. Ross will love me.

    I really, really want to be optimistic that we're on the path to being what everyone wants, but we already know how internal promotions go. There's no pressure to win today, but we're going to fire you in the next 12 months if we don't make the playoffs. Grier just accepted a no-win position with an average team that's about to take yet another reboot, with absolutely no guidance from the owner and a meaningless blueprint.

    A lot of you here say Grier is a superstar- hopefully you're right. Because this is EXACTLY how a decade of rebuilding has started for us twice in the past two decades....we promote from within on a spur of the moment decision without even scheduling a single interview. The ONLY THING that can stop us from repeating the same dumb mistakes of the past is if Grier is a pimp daddy of a GM, despite never holding the position before and never actually interviewing for the role elsewhere.

    And who made that decision? The dumbest owner in the history of professional sports. Forgive me if I'm not brimming with confidence.
     
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2018
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  2. texanphinatic

    texanphinatic Senior Member

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    We make the right educated guess.
     
  3. Vertical Limit

    Vertical Limit Senior Member

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    3 years? Brother try 25 years
     
  4. cbrad

    cbrad . Club Member

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    Why? That's a fantastic answer. He's saying do whatever it takes to build a true long term contender even if it means waiting an extra year.

    Ross's desire to win was never the question in my mind, just his ability lol. Not yet convinced he'll make the right decisions. We'll see if the nickname "Dumbo" (gotta admit he has the ears!) will still be appropriate in the years ahead.
     
  5. KeyFin

    KeyFin Well-Known Member

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    I agree with you 100%....awesome answer.

    But how do we avoid what just happened with Gase, Philbin, and Sparano? To me, the answer is not putting it in the hands of a 20+ year vet with no executive experience. It's just too big of a job. It's like moving your best kitchen cook to general manager...although he knows the restaurant in and out, he just doesn't have experience handling payroll, food orders, customer complaints, scheduling, etc.

    I genuinely hope I'm wrong, but I don't like this move at all.
     
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  6. Not So Fast

    Not So Fast Well-Known Member

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    Ross for better or worse has decided that Grier is capable of leading football operation and has entrusted him with finding a head coach. It's up to Grier to pick the right candidate and perform well in the draft. The headcoach has to the groom the players and install a working system that players buy into. The last part is execution and a tiny bit of luck. That's the only way to be successful.
     
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2018
  7. cbrad

    cbrad . Club Member

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    Yeah who knows. We know too little from the outside anyway to evaluate Grier beyond his draft picks. The previous approach of getting candidates with experience (Tannenbaum) and "hot" coaching prospects (Gase) didn't work. So let's see what Grier does. I simply find little value in judging moves this early when it's too hard to predict which GM/HC/QB turns out to be the right choice.

    Just happy Ross (almost) cleaned house. MUCH better than making minor changes. As stated before, just keep trying till you get it right.
     
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  8. Agua

    Agua Reality: Try It!

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    This "build a team that is capable of sustaining contention year after year" is the same **** they've been saying since they brought in Sparano. I have ZERO confidence they're going to magically be able to do this all of a sudden.
     
  9. KeyFin

    KeyFin Well-Known Member

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    I mean, every franchise has that goal....and our record was better this year than almost half the league. Obviously I'm rooting for Grier and all- but the odds of us suddenly building a perennial championship team in a season or two is almost zero. The odds of doing that with an internal upgrade that never held the position before? It just makes me nervous since sports history says it's not going to happen.

    That's the same for any team not named New England though- it's finding a needle in a haystack.
     
  10. Surfs Up 99

    Surfs Up 99 Team Rosen

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    I understand where you are coming from. As I have said, I am excited about the move. However, that doesn't mean I am not nervous about how things are going to go. I think Grier has the skills. In this situation, instead of scouting players, he's scouting head coaches. He knows how to do his research (ie. compile data, watch film, call around, etc.). Plus, after 20 years in the business, if he doesn't know, he knows who to ask.
     
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2019
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  11. The_Dark_Knight

    The_Dark_Knight Defender of the Truth

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    The way you escape the mediocrity is 2 fold. You bring in PROVEN winners as OC and DC and most importantly, get back to basics.

    As some of you recall, I have beat the drum time and time again, when we rush the ball 25 times a game, we win...and I’m not talking about running the ball to burn the clock, I’m talking about committing to the run. Offensively I want a stud OL and a back that can rush 25 times a game and average 6 yards a carry. In your face, smash mouth, demoralizing ground and pound game that makes a defense more tired than a hooker on payday.

    I want a QB who is a field general, whom we only ask to throw the ball 25 times a game, complete 75% of those passes and averages 15 yards per completion. I want a QB who comes up under center and knows what the defense is going to do even before they do.

    Defensively, I want a DL that dominothe lube of scrimmage, that can stuff a running back before he reaches the LOS. On passing downs, I want a defense that has that QB running for his life and has no where to throw the ball to because out DBs are stuck to the receivers like flypaper. I want a defense that forces 3 and outs consistently and creates turnovers. Bottom line, I want the re-birth of the no name defense.

    The only way we’re going to achieve this is to bring in proven coordinators who have demonstrated success time and time again. A good head coach is the leader of the team, but it’s those coordinators that’s going to create the team we ultimately want.
     
  12. cbrad

    cbrad . Club Member

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    Ravens are the closest thing today to trying to win the way football used to be played: good running game and good defense without relying too much on the QB. It'll be interesting to see how they do in the playoffs because if they have success it might lead other teams towards moving the needle back towards the way football used to be played.

    I doubt this will happen though. The game today is heavily biased towards the passing game so I fully expect the trend of those teams winning the QB lottery to go deep in the playoffs and winning the SB to continue.

    Either way, a good defense is necessary but what you're asking for there is like asking for perfection lol. Regardless of the type of offense we have, what's important is the pass defense not run defense, not only because that correlates higher to win% but also because the teams you'll face in the playoffs will likely have top passing offenses. And the Ravens have a top passing defense, not just a top defense by points allowed.
     
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  13. tirty8

    tirty8 Well-Known Member

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    What Ross is spot on about is that we have a ton of bad contracts and aging vets. We need to go through a youth movement and get bad contracts off the books. 2019 might not be a great season, but getting these players and their bloated contracts off the roster can change the course of the franchise.
     
  14. texanphinatic

    texanphinatic Senior Member

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    I mean, even NE had to wait decades (their entire existence) to find their unicorn.

    As for turnarounds, I think in today's NFL you can and should see somewhat quick turnarounds. Look at the Eagles, Rams and even the damn Browns.
     
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  15. KeyFin

    KeyFin Well-Known Member

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    That's exactly my worry though- look at the Browns and their three prior years of being the laughing stock of the league. We've yet to have a coach last until that 4th year under Ross....most GM's only make it two. I'm 100% in on a 4 or 5 year plan.....we just need to stick to it instead of hitting reset after a few average seasons.
     
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  16. texanphinatic

    texanphinatic Senior Member

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    I mean, it's fine to be worried and wonder if we have the right people in place, but you could do the same questions for literally every person on the planet. I mean, Parcells came in and was ****. Jimmy couldn't get it done and wasted Marino's later years. Saban couldn't hack it and went back to greener pastures. BB could quit New England and get hired, and while we would be confident, we still couldn't guarantee ****. It's fine to have questions, but have some optimism to start I suppose. See who we land, see our draft, the offseason moves.

    Then it's all about looking for progression. Is the roster getting better? Is the coach improving at running the team and being a coach? Are players learning and improving? If yes, you keep on trucking. If not - like with Gase - you pull the plug and try again.
     
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  17. Zigs

    Zigs Member

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    Hi All,

    The one thing I wanted to happen at the end of this season did not happen to the extent I wanted it to. That was to CLEAN house, burn it to the ground and start fresh - ah. Nope, we still got Grier who has been a part of The Miami mediocrity journey these past 2 decades (minus 2 years) and we've just been boring year after year. I would've preferred someone at the helm that has been there, that takes calculated risks, shoots for the fences. I do not see him being that guy. I am not talking bad about Grier, he may be all that but the thing is, he has been here and will be new to the position. AND now hiring a head coach. UGH!!!!

    Grier may be a respected Scout but if you're going to clean house, clean it and start fresh. It seems one big part of our journey in mediocrity has been never fully cleaning house. As far as I can remember we have always kept part of one staff or another. I m not 100 % certain but in the last 20 years we have not wiped the slate clean.

    Oh well, Happy New Year every one!!
     
  18. jpep13

    jpep13 Season Ticket Holder Club Member

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    Ross doesn't expect us to go 6-10-10-6, He said that is not good enough, if that means going 3-13
     
  19. AGuyNamedAlex

    AGuyNamedAlex Well-Known Member

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    Breathe brother!

    We don't know much about Grier. All we know is that since 2000 multiple staff have thought enough of him to keep him on board in various capacities.

    I have to say I'm pulling for him. I respect a person who put in the work to get to where he is. Obviously that doesn't guarantee success but it's a good trait.

    For all we know he's been the one making good decisions. For all we know he's been gritting his teeth in the background going "If they would just listen..."

    Anyway, my point really is we don't know. However, I'm fairly impressed with his HC search so far.

    I even don't mind Flores. Sure the Pats D is bad but they are also incredibly lacking talent and people are looking at men in a one year vaccum vs their careers.
     
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  20. Losferwords

    Losferwords New Member

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    The issue has been and continues to be:

    A) Lack of a Franchise QB
    B) Short sighted bandaid moves year after year.


    Ross's latest move is yet another half measure...


    [​IMG]
     
  21. Tin Indian

    Tin Indian Rockin' The Bottom End

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    I felt Ross actually had the right take in his presser for a change. Yes we have heard some of those things before but more often we have heard how close we were. Bringing in a couple of vets to patch the holes was all we needed. Ha. We all knew that wasn't true and it seems Ross does as well. He said that he and Grier had a long conversation prior to the presser, hopefully that means Grier told him the unpleasant truths about this team and gave him a real vision. Thats why Ross was saying things like if he has to go 3-13 to get the team built properly he would, no more bringing in over priced over the hill veterans to push us over the top.

    Now if they follow thru and make it happen remains to be seen. And while we're at it I'm gonna cast my vote for Dirk Koetter as OC. Not HC, OC.
     
  22. Dol-Fan Dupree

    Dol-Fan Dupree I drink your milkshake! Club Member

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    what has been quick about the Browns turnaround?
     
  23. cbrad

    cbrad . Club Member

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    Yeah they've been one of the worst franchises for who knows how long, so from that point of view it's really the longest "turnaround" in the league. However, once they found a franchise QB the "turnaround" was immediate. That team has some key players, lots of cap space and draft picks and ended the season 5-2 so all it needs is a decent HC and I think they contend for their division. After Mayfield that franchise has actually turned into an attractive spot for potential HC's.
     
  24. KeyFin

    KeyFin Well-Known Member

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    Let me ask you this- you've shown for a few years now Tannehill is average or maybe even slightly above average. His last two horrific games dropped him to 20th on the year, but still.....let's call him average.

    #1, How hard is it to find an average, 16th ranked NFL quarterback these days? Or maybe to ask a different way, how many QB's do franchises draft before having someone fall into that category?

    #2, Same question, except for finding a top 10 quarterback.

    I'm asking because a lot are under the impression that it will be easy to replace Tannehill with someone better....even though in the average year there's only a dozen or so names that actually surpass him. What are the relative chances that the next few quarterbacks we draft/trade for can play at his level?

    For instance, a few here have preached Teddy Bridgewater as a legit answer. Yet he's never been within 10 points of RT in ratings in any given year. Although his stats may be a little misleading since he's a run threat as well, what are the chances of Bridgewater being a 92.0+ quarterback next season?

    Note- this is not me making a case for Tannehill...I want him gone. I'm just asking how realistic it would be to replace him with someone better next season without chasing Foles or another big-name free agent who's already in the top 15.
     
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  25. mbsinmisc

    mbsinmisc Season Ticket Holder

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    I agree with most of your ideas.
    I am an old man. I have watched a lot of football in my life. I am in no way an expert, but I have a fair understanding of what I think is important on every level, from PeeWee to the NFL. You have to protect your QB/run the ball effectively on offense and attack the QB and stop the run on defense.
    The rules favor the passing offense, but pressure makes great QB's average and average QB's poor. Tannehill is a perfect example. With time he is an average QB. When he gets immediate pressure he looks like a schoolboy.
    I hope the Phins allocate assets, coaching, draft, and salary to our lines this year. The fact that we couldn't pick up stunts was embarrassing. I have never heard a professional coach say that.
     
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  26. mbsinmisc

    mbsinmisc Season Ticket Holder

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    I don't think Bridgewater or Foles is the answer. I don't have any idea who will play QB for the Phins next year.
     
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  27. texanphinatic

    texanphinatic Senior Member

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    From 0-18 to 7-8-1. That's a feat.
     
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  28. cbrad

    cbrad . Club Member

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    From a purely statistical point of view I would estimate this as follows: the career adjusted passer ratings of all 158 starting QB's I have from 1970-2017 (haven't updated to include 2018 yet) have a normal distribution, meaning that all we need to do is to specify what portion of that normal distribution corresponds to "average" or "top 10" and the probability of selecting such a QB is simply the conversion of the corresponding z-scores of each region to percentiles.

    Since I adjusted all ratings to 2017, let's look at what "top 10" in 2017 meant. That was a 95.4 rating when the average was 86.9, which turns out to be 0.86 standard deviations above the mean (the z-score). Translate that to percentiles and you get ~20% probability you'd select a top 10 QB in the draft, so 1 in 5 chance.

    Chance of finding an "average" QB depends on your definition. If "average" is defined as a z-score from -0.5 to +0.5, that corresponds to 38% probability you'd get one. Increase or decrease that range and of course the probability changes.

    Now.. that ignores draft position. If you restrict it to just 1st rounders the chances should be higher, but probably not too much higher since we're talking about career ratings, not just one year wonders. Here's a list of all QB's and the round they were drafted in:
    http://www.drafthistory.com/index.php/positions/qb

    There were 60 QB's drafted in the 1st round from 1998-2018. You can decide for yourself but I see between 15-20 of those 60 I'd say should be considered "top 10", which jibes with what I just said that the proportion is higher than estimated when not considering draft position. So maybe if you reach for a QB in the 1st round the probability is 1/3 to 1/4 (as opposed to 1/5) you get a top 10 QB.


    Anyway.. I don't think Bridgewater is the answer either. I think the answer is in the draft.
     
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  29. KeyFin

    KeyFin Well-Known Member

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    Cool, so we're looking at maybe a 25% chance of someone better than RT if we go in round 1 of 2019/2020. That's still missing on 3 out of 4 but it's not as bad as I expected honestly.

    That also helps in regards to Luke Falk....maybe we have a 1 in 5 chance he develops. Those aren't good odds but hey, we didn't draft him either. It was very smart to grab him when we did.
     
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  30. cbrad

    cbrad . Club Member

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    1 in 5 chance IF he first becomes a starting QB, which I think for pro-football-reference is that he starts at least 5 games in one season.

    Chance of ANY QB turning top 10, including those that never started at least 5 games in a season I have no idea, but that's much lower.
     
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  31. Dol-Fan Dupree

    Dol-Fan Dupree I drink your milkshake! Club Member

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    That took 10 years.
     
  32. Dol-Fan Dupree

    Dol-Fan Dupree I drink your milkshake! Club Member

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    I am not trying to take away from their turn around. However, to say it was quick is just plain wrong. THey have been terrible for 10 years.
     
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  33. texanphinatic

    texanphinatic Senior Member

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    No it didn't, and that's an incredibly disingenuous statement. They sucked *** for 10 years, culminating in an 0-18 season. Then, new GM, new coach (after like 3 games) and new QB and suddenly they are 7-8-1. If you want to be generous, you could say it's really been a 2-3 year process to build up draft picks before cashing in and getting team leaders like Garrett and Mayfield, however they did pass on both Wentz and Watson in that timeframe.
     
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  34. Dol-Fan Dupree

    Dol-Fan Dupree I drink your milkshake! Club Member

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    It took ten years for them to rebound. They won 4 games in the previous 3 years. It took forever to get out of this hole and turn it around.

    It is not being generous, it is being accurate. The Browns have a long turnaround.
     
  35. texanphinatic

    texanphinatic Senior Member

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    Your take is wrong because the majority of that time they were not actively improving. Those years aren't part of a turnaround because they didn't ... you know ... turn around because of them. There are clear lines of change that lead from them being complete suck to them being not-suck. This past year most clearly of all with the changes to GM, Coach and QB. Them being **** for 10 years is meaningless. They went from being definite **** to being definite not **** in a short time frame.

    It's like insinuating that if we win the big one in 2020, that Cleo Lemon was a vital part of that process. No, he was **** years ago and not worth discussing.
     
  36. Dol-Fan Dupree

    Dol-Fan Dupree I drink your milkshake! Club Member

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    It is not wrong. It is accurate. Their turnaround has taken forever. That is like calling someone who busts their butts for 19 years an overnight sensation. It took them over 10 years to get it right. They went from **** to not **** in a long freaking time frame.

    You do not understand how time works.
     
  37. texanphinatic

    texanphinatic Senior Member

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    You aren't being accurate, you are being semantic and playing word games that contribute nothing. It's a thing you seem to enjoy on occasion, but just stop please, it's not germane to anything here.

    The Browns were not building in a steady manner through 10 years which is what your statement implies. My point is that they went from being absolutely terrible, to getting better people in place, and managed a very quick turnaround from being historically awful to being a respectable team with an upward trajectory. Also, they are not the only team in recent years to accomplish something of that nature, with other examples being the Bears, Eagles, Rams, etc.

    They were brought up not to quibble with you over your opinion on "accuracy" regarding a specific team, but to show that we can be a solid, contender of a team sooner rather than later IF we get the right people in place.
     
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  38. mlb1399

    mlb1399 Well-Known Member

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    Until we start drafting better and consistently draft for a franchise QB or super bowl caliber defense, it won’t matter who we hire as HC. The history of our failed coaches is the history of our bad drafts, free agency and trades.
     
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  39. Galant

    Galant Love - Unity - Sacrifice - Eternity Staff Member

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    The short and correct answer (if unsatisfying in its lack of detail) is a great FO and coaching - or more specifically - great talent acquisition AND development.

    To maintain success you need to be able to consistently find and maximise talent.

    Take a look at the sports franchises with the most long term success and you'll see that it's built on a FO that can draft well, finding 'gems' repeatedly, and able to get good to great performances out of talent others would overlook or dismiss.

    That's good enough to be a perennial contender. If you then want to win championships you need that same FO to acquire some elite talent. No stars and you're not likely to win it all.

    So we have to really hope that Grier is the man.
     
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  40. AGuyNamedAlex

    AGuyNamedAlex Well-Known Member

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    Honestly, just by creating a pass rush I can see us being a hard team to beat.

    We currently have two players in our secondary who can shut out or at least limit some of the best without the pass rush doing them any favors.

    A strong defensive scheme probably has us around where we were this year, even if the offense takes a step back.

    The real win will be if we can get that defensive line help and somehow fill the QB spot with something that isn't trash.
     
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