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To Win or To Tank

Discussion in 'Miami Dolphins Forum' started by KeyFin, Oct 13, 2019.

  1. Pauly

    Pauly Season Ticket Holder

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    Another factor is that in the last 35 years we have had three #1 overall picks (John Elway, Bo Jackson, Eli Manning) who have refused to play with the team that drafted them. With the rationale that the team sucked and they didn’t want to waste their careers in sad sack organizations. That’s roughly 1 in 12 chance in recent NFL history, which is not a risk any team should ignore.
    Also you have had situations like Bernie Kosar manipulating the 1985 draft (going from what would have been #2 overall to #1 in the supplemental draft) or Peyton Manning not declaring for the 1997 draft which he would have been the #1 overall that was rumored to be because of his lack of confidence in the Rams’ organization. History shows us that even if “The Man!” is present that it is possible for him to avoid playing for an organization that he considers to be chronically inferior. So it is possible that the roughly 1/12 chance I mentioned above might in fact be higher in reality as a consensus #1 overall pick has other ways to manipulate who they get drafted by, not just refusing to sign for a team.

    On an expected return basis, with a 1 in 7 chance of your #1 overall QB being “The Man!”, (which can be expressed a 6/7 chance of your pick not being “worth it”) a team would have to tank for 4 seasons to have a better than 50% of finding their HoF QB. That’s before factoring in the risk that he will not sign to play with your team.

    As a counterpoint to the 49ers dynasty coinciding with the QBing duo of Montana/Young I would place Steve Young’s record with the Buccaneers as an example of HoF talent not being able to overcome poor coaching and a bad organization. Another example is Jim Plunkett who went from being around a 60 passer rating QB who won 40% of his games with The Patsies and 49ers to a 75 passer rating SB winning QB who won 67% of his games with the Raiders (I know that his change to the raiders came after the 1978 rules changes so it isn’t a strictly apples to apples comparison as far as passer rating is concerned).

    Again I totally agree that the #1 overall spot is the best place to be hunting for your HoF QB. What I disagree with is wether it is worth deliberately tanking to earn that spot.
     
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  2. cbrad

    cbrad . Club Member

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    My view on this is that tanking is worth it if: 1) you need a franchise QB, and 2) you have an average (or below average) GM. There’s no need to tank if you already have that QB and you just want to rebuild, or if you have a great GM. So I think we’re doing the right thing.
     
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  3. Puka-head

    Puka-head My2nd Fav team:___vs Jets Club Member

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    Slightly left of center
    Excuse me.

    The correct terminology is:
    BEST FLIPPING LONG FLIPPING SNAPPER FLIPPING
    E.V.E.R.


    Thank You
     
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  4. AGuyNamedAlex

    AGuyNamedAlex Well-Known Member

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    I still think you are using semantics. When you trade away your only pieces for draft capital and let everyone else walk, you know you are going to lose and accepting it. That is tanking.

    I also never said we should follow that exact model to rebuild. Just that they technically were rebuilds
     
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2019
  5. Fin D

    Fin D Sigh Club Member

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    - I’m not using semantics
    - We didn’t trade away our only pieces for draft capital
    - being ok with losing is not the same as trying to purposely lose, which is what tanking is.

    Again, if I played 1 on 1 against Lebron, I’d lose and lose miserably. I wouldn’t have tried to lose but I’d also be ok with losing. Following your logic I tanked.
     
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  6. The_Dark_Knight

    The_Dark_Knight Defender of the Truth

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    Please don't get me wrong. I loved Denney and was proud to have him with the Dolphins for as long as we did but let's be a bit real here. With the changes in the rules, defenders could no longer line up on the long snapper, which means the overall talent that made Denney what he was became irrelevant. If the rules of yesterday were still in place today, where a defender could line up on the long snapper, then releasing Denney would be a stupid move...the ability to snap the ball and instantly engage a defender.

    That's no longer the case and now all that's needed at that position is someone who can accurately snap the ball to the punter or place kicking holder.
     
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  7. AGuyNamedAlex

    AGuyNamedAlex Well-Known Member

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    No, your example of 1 v 1 is nothing like what I said.

    It's more like you are playing 5 v5 and you cut all the good players on your team who gave you any shot or trade them, or refused to resign them.

    Also I'm not saying any move was bad or not good to rebuild, I'm simply saying the FO is okay with losing and it makes 0 sense to try and scrape together any wins in that scenario.

    There is no such thing as neither trying to win or lose. If we had signed a few reasonable pieces to replace what we lost I'd agree with you 100%, but we didnt so I only agree 50%

    Again though, do either of our opinions matter? At the end of the day we arent winning more than a game or two regardless what you want to call it.
     
  8. resnor

    resnor Derp Sherpa

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    I mean...let's be real. If you KEEP all the players we got rid of (not talking Tunsil/Minkah), then you can't rebuild or get the QB you need, because you win too many games. So, to rebuild, you've got to cut high priced vets. You've got to let done guys go to other teams just to be fair to those guys. If you have some young guys who are talented and leaders, and want to lead the team through a tough season into a hopefully better future, you keep them.

    But you have to get rid of high priced contracts and accrue draft picks. It's the only way to really rebuild when you've been right about average for the last 20 years.
     
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  9. AGuyNamedAlex

    AGuyNamedAlex Well-Known Member

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    I agree 100% with that.

    I know he wont agree but we are just arguing semantics of a word at this point.

    The reality is we are losing because of the moves we made. Whether it's a rebuild, tank, or both the result is the exact same.
     
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  10. cbrad

    cbrad . Club Member

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    As far as I’m concerned.. if we get the #1 pick it’s tanking because getting a #1 is extremely unlikely with just a “rebuild”. If however we end up with a #3 or so then even I’ll call it rebuilding.

    That for me is going to be the empirical “evidence” given that we can’t expect Ross to just come out and tell the truth regarding his intentions. Where others draw the threshold is up to them but for me that will do it. Not sure what to think if we just miss out and get the #2 pick though because it’s possible the FO is fine with picking one of 2 QB’s.
     
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  11. AGuyNamedAlex

    AGuyNamedAlex Well-Known Member

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    Like I said a tank is just one way to go about rebuilding but also like I said it doesnt matter. At the end of the day we all just want a team we can be proud of and has a chance to win every week and go deep into the playoffs.

    I want the #1 pick whether we call it rebuilding, tanking or another word entirely.
     
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  12. Fin D

    Fin D Sigh Club Member

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    Ok, I've lost you.

    1 v1 or 11 vs 11 doesn't change the concept I'm talking about.

    You say there is no such thing as neither trying to win or lose, yet my 1 on 1 vs Lebron hypothetical actually illustrates that there is such a thing. It is absolutely possible, to enter into a competitive endeavor, and not try to win and not try to lose. If the team was allowed to take the season off, they would have. All they actually cared about for this season was to acquire the draft capital and salary cap space to build what they believe will be a winner. That means, they didn't care if they won this year or lost.

    They didn't play the FA game this year, because that would make as much sense as installing new carpet on a house you're about to take down to the rafters. It would be a waste.

    This team, as with many years past, was a hodgepodge of disconnected parts built for numerous other systems and philosophies. It needed to be gutted and started over. What you want them to do, is that they've always done, which is keep maintaining stagnant mediocrity at the cost of building a team into a singular vision, because the mediocrity is somehow important to you for some reason. If your team isn't in the playoffs regularly, start the **** over. Fix it.

    That's what this team is finally doing, but because its different, you label it as tanking.
     
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  13. Fin D

    Fin D Sigh Club Member

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    Tanking is defined by intent. You are changing the definition, which is your right.
     
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  14. resnor

    resnor Derp Sherpa

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    I think you can enter into an endeavor TRYING your best to win, while KNOWING your best won't even get you close to winning. You can try as hard as you want against LeBron, it's not going to be enough. You know that going in. But you still are gonna try to juke him with your best crossover, and try to hit a fadeaway jumper. Lol

    That's how I view the Dolphins this season. They have begun the process of rebuilding, and while they KNOW they probably might not win a game, they're still TRYING to win.
     
  15. AGuyNamedAlex

    AGuyNamedAlex Well-Known Member

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    Why do you keep implying I dont want them to do this when I've said otherwise? Or that for some reason I want to follow our previous ways which I havent once said.
     
  16. Fin D

    Fin D Sigh Club Member

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    You absolutely can. You can also go in, just hoping to learn something.

    The point is, there's numerous reasons and they all don't always have to be about winning or losing.
     
  17. Fin D

    Fin D Sigh Club Member

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    It seems like you want us to rebuild and not tank. You think what we're doing is tanking and we did in the past was rebuild.

    If you are ok with our current path, then I apologize as I didn't mean to misrepresent your argument and a part you didn't mean.

    However, if your argument is just what we are doing now is tanking and what we've done in the past is rebuilding, then regardless if I misunderstood you on what you want, you're still wrong on those two parts.

    The closest this team came to being rebuilt was when JJ took over for Shula. Since then, we've done nothing but patch the team's talent from one coach to another to another. The definition of rebuild is in the word itself.....build again. Those coaches never built, they added on and renovated.
     
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  18. AGuyNamedAlex

    AGuyNamedAlex Well-Known Member

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    As I sort of said, I'm over which one of us is right because it doesnt matter and the end result is the same.

    I'm fine tanking, I'm fine rebuilding, I'm fine with both, I only care about the end result and there isnt only one way to build a team.

    The Tunsil trade is the only one I've been vocal about disliking but I'm even getting over that in time.
     
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  19. cbrad

    cbrad . Club Member

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    Not changing the definition. Just pointing out that if the intent is to lose, then the probability you'll get the #1 pick is higher than if the intent isn't to win or lose. So logically speaking (Bayesian inference) if we end up with the #1 pick the likelihood is higher that the true intent (which we can't directly observe or know) was to tank rather than to rebuild without the intention of losing.
     
  20. Fin D

    Fin D Sigh Club Member

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    So the team that gets first pick every year, tanked?
     
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  21. cbrad

    cbrad . Club Member

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    No, just that the probability was higher, assuming you also see evidence of rebuilding (e.g., replacing key players and accumulation of draft picks etc.. since the goal here is to discriminate between "tanking" and "rebuilding" which means it has to first be one or the other.. just getting the #1 pick doesn't necessarily mean you're "rebuilding"). As you said before, what we're observing is logically consistent with both tanking and rebuilding. But not every outcome has equal probability of occurring.
     
  22. Fin D

    Fin D Sigh Club Member

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    I just think it becomes extremely fishy to infer intent, statistically.
     
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  23. DolphinGreg

    DolphinGreg Season Ticket Holder Club Member

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    This popular argument has been shown to be false:

    Chargers took Brees in R2.

    Packers took Rodgers at #24.

    Seahawks took Wilson in R3.

    Steelers took Roethlisberger at #11.

    Saints signed Brees as a FA.

    Chiefs took Mahomes at #10.

    Redskins took Cousins in R4.

    Cowboys took Prescott in R4.

    Texans took Watson at #12.

    Eagles traded up to get Wentz.

    Vikings signed Cousins in FA.

    49ers traded for Garoppolo.



    The evidence does suggest that you are unlikely to draft a bust #1 overall (which is comforting) but the guys who've been taken are not the best of the best either: Alex Smith, JaMarcus Russell, Sam Bradford, Matthew Stafford, Cam Newton, Andrew Luck, Jared Goff, Baker Mayfield, etc.

    So if anyone thinks that tanking fixes the QB position, they're clueless. I guarantee the Dolphins are not tanking strictly because they want the #1 QB. Tanking goes WAY beyond that.

    The truth is that good franchises find ways to get QBs when they need them while bad organization like Cleveland and Miami find ways to miss. Again, Cleveland had chances to get the majority of the guys mentioned above but instead they took players like Brandon Weeden, Johnny Manziel and Deshone Kizer. The list of good QBs that the Browns could've had is hilariously long.

    The truth is painful people.
     
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2019
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  24. resnor

    resnor Derp Sherpa

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    If you think it's as easy to pick in the middle of the pack and get your QB, you're wrong. Your chances of getting an elite QB are far greater if you're picking earlier.
     
  25. DolphinGreg

    DolphinGreg Season Ticket Holder Club Member

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    The NFL is deeper than that.

    You can look at averages if you wish and fall back to that as a comforting thought, but what I'm showing you is obvious--the franchises that know what they're doing find ways to get good players/coaches without having the #1 pick.

    Furthermore, the vast, vast, vast majority of teams who do end with those high picks never recover because football is about way more than just maxing out the odds of drafting a good player at one position.

    What you're telling me is that the odds at #1 are better than at number #111.

    No offense, Res, but that's obvious. Sadly, it doesn't mean much here because we have to build an entire team, not just improve our odds at 1 position.

    What really matters is scouting, foresight, vision, etc. Getting a few extra picks isn't what makes you great in the NFL.
     
  26. Galant

    Galant Love - Unity - Sacrifice - Eternity Staff Member

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    If I may jump in, this line or arguing I think grates against a pragmatic viewpoint. Correct me if I'm wrong, but essentially what you're saying is that what the team needs to do is suddenly become elite a drafting QBs (and everyone else). That is, draft position doesn't matter, you just need to pick better. That's all well and good, I think we'd all love a genius GM, but it doesn't actually help advance things or solve any problems. It's essentially saying - just get better.

    The point of the high pick is that it remove many, or all, limitations on who you can draft. You might be crap at drafting - any maybe teams picking #1 are there because they can't draft, thus have a bad team, thus have a high draft pick (which is a catch 22 for another day) - but you at least can take your pick of players. That's a practical advantage. So picking higher is better than picking lower - an obvious point, as you said, but a truth, and it doesn't have to get more complex than that.

    And one last point - probability becomes a very important factor if it is true that teams who landed a franchise QB (anywhere in the draft) did so by luck. It's often said that the draft is a gamble and there are no guarantees. If that's the case, then more options (granted by high draft picks) and more picks increase your chances on landing on someone.

    Pointing out that top QB's can show up anywhere is simply not helpful or useful in any way. A high pick is a legitimate tool. Whether or not Grier will make best use of it only time will tell, but obtaining it is a legitimate advantage.
     
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  27. DolphinGreg

    DolphinGreg Season Ticket Holder Club Member

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    Well, the practical value of what I'm pointing out is that the common denominator in modern success is a plan/vision--not just raw, unadulterated opportunity which is what you get when you gut your team in order to amass a slew of draft picks.

    What the Dolphins have failed to do in recent years is show that they are capable of developing such a plan/vision. A plan would involve hiring the right coaches and bringing in the right kinds of people in the front office.

    Furthermore, evidence shows that if you get the plan/vision right, you don't need the #1 overall pick. So tanking is a totally peripheral (and probably unnecessary) element to this whole conversation.

    So I think it's hard to produce a compelling argument that this current regime is any different from past regimes (and thus that their actions make any more sense). We will simply have to wait and see what comes of it.

    But what I showed is VERY important because it makes clear that simply getting a top pick is not the real name of the game. The #1 priority is to demonstrate competency in team building (from front office to coaching to roster). As best I can tell, that requires smart scouting and a clear picture of what the coaches need--assuming the coaches themselves are highly competent.

    It's easy to say that this whole thing is Chris Grier finally asserting his will, but IDK. At best, one is left to guess what Grier's own internal plan/vision might actually be.

    And again, there's a fishy smell coming from this when you consider that we're trying to fix something by giving complete and total control to the same guy that supposedly contributed to the problem(s) arising in the first place.
     
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2019
  28. Galant

    Galant Love - Unity - Sacrifice - Eternity Staff Member

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    All of that said, though, doesn't it just boil down to - we need a new owner to pick better football people?

    What could Ross have done different this year to change things up, other than what he has done?
     
  29. DolphinGreg

    DolphinGreg Season Ticket Holder Club Member

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    He must believe that Chris Grier is his best option. But I'm highly suspicious of Grier when his plan begins with tanking.

    We could have kept various players. We could have signed FAs. We could've transitioned away from Ryan Tannehill in the typical fashion that most teams do. We could've taken our lumps and ended up 5-11 and picking #8 or something like that. Most teams do exactly that and 3-4 years down the line their placement has nothing to do with whether they were picking #1 or #8 (as I showed above).

    What we definitely know is that Stephen Ross wants a QB. I think he just wants to see the team draft someone. He pushed for Lamar Jackson over Minkah Fitzpatrick and based on what the Ravens are doing, it looks like Jackson would've been a fine pick. He's again, another example of a guy that wouldn't have required the team invest a tippy-top draft pick.

    So when you have a guy at your disposal who says, 'I can get you the best QB prospect in the draft. You just have to give me total control,' I think it's appealing to do that.

    At this point, I don't know who Stephen Ross really has to turn to.

    But when I hear him saying that he feels like he's tried everything else, I suspect he's feeling massively disappointed by how things have gone. My heart goes out to the guy. I guess he just put more stock in Jeff Ireland and Mike Tannenbaum than we all did. But mistakes are fine. You make them. You learn. You move forward.

    But in Ross' defense, how does he reach out and bring in better people? He's definitely tried loyalty (extending Ireland, Philbin and now Grier). Unfortunately that hasn't worked. He's invested money where it's been helpful (big FAs, stadium work, etc.). Unfortunately that's not a total fix either.

    He just needs a competent person to show up. Maybe Grier and Flores are those guys? IDK, but it's not going to be about tanking. It's going to be a function of whether they consistently draft good players over 2-3 years and whether they hit on good FAs.
     
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2019
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  30. resnor

    resnor Derp Sherpa

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    just because the Browns made poor choices doesn’t mean the concept of tanking or rebuilding is wrong. Yes, you can find a Wilson in the 3rd...but if you’re always looking for a QB outside the top 5-10 picks, you’re gonna really struggle to find that guy.
     
  31. Galant

    Galant Love - Unity - Sacrifice - Eternity Staff Member

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    So, it sounds like you're aware of this but all of what you have said in the first part of your post is what Ross said he has been trying, and I think we can all agree that's true, and so he said that he is going to try something different. I agree it's likely he wants a different QB, but I think he's made it clear it's more than that. He wants to tear it down and rebuild it differently, and again, I think at this point we can agree he's doing that.

    Grier is the one major carry over here, but the HC is at least new, and that combination of Grier with Flores could be significant. There's a lot of guessing here. We really don't know just how much influence Grier had over Tannenbaum, nor do we know their process and how much Gase or Tannenbaum influenced how Grier worked. It could be that Grier isn't the guy. Then again, it's entirely possible he is freer now and we something different. We just don't know. I think we can definitely say that he is doing something different here by cutting lots of ties. We'll just have to see what the new vision is.

    But again, I don't know what else Ross could have done that's different. This is going to be a new team from the ground up. And more picks, and higher picks, can only help with that.

    Just swapping around FA's etc. I don't think would have worked - at least, that would have been even more open to accusations of 'same old Dolphins'.
     
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  32. pumpdogs

    pumpdogs Well-Known Member

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    Bomb for Burrow!!!!
     
  33. DolphinGreg

    DolphinGreg Season Ticket Holder Club Member

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    Just seems weird to do all this with/for a guy about whom "we just don't know."

    It never works, except for when it does, LOL.

    It's silly really. People are going to root for this team no matter what. And that means they'll defend the moves this team makes no matter what. When you're tanking the narrative becomes "We have to tank! They only want to the top is tanking!"
     
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  34. KeyFin

    KeyFin Well-Known Member

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    You didn't tank....the person who set up the match definitely tanked though. And your coach is a straight up a-hole for putting you in that position to begin with.
     
  35. Galant

    Galant Love - Unity - Sacrifice - Eternity Staff Member

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    "We don't know anything" - that is to say, as fans we don't have the insight necessary to be able to know why decisions are being made.

    And I didn't say tanking was the only way. We've been discussing your suggestion that there's essentially no value in aiming for the highest draft. My point is that one can at least see a practical value in this approach and that Ross is trying something different. There are no guarantees but he's at least trying to change things. That's something.

    And just saying, "Do better!" might feel good, but the question is do better how?
     
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2019
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  36. cbrad

    cbrad . Club Member

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    Every time you hire a first time coach you're in the "we just don't know" world. Has nothing specifically to do with tanking. We didn't know that Sparano, Philbin and Gase would end up no better than average. Would have been nice to know that beforehand!

    It didn't work for us.. for way too long we kept trying to add a few pieces here or there and it just never worked, with multiple GM's and HC's. Ross learns slowly but he does learn: have to try something new if what you've been repeatedly trying to do doesn't work.

    Not true at all. Maybe there are some fans like that but you know yourself how critical so many of us were regarding many of the team's moves. In my case, I wanted Philbin and Gase fired WAY earlier than they were. I wanted Tannehill gone in 2015, not 2018. I also advocated for taking a QB high in many years past, especially in 2017 after Tannehill's injury. There are a lot of people here who have looked critically on the moves this franchise has made so this idea we're just lemmings is totally wrong.

    btw.. that 2017 draft may turn out to be one of the best yet for QB's. Both Mahomes and Watson have a chance at being elite. Can't put them in that class until they do it consistently (at least I need to see ~5 years of it) but they have the talent and the production so far is there. If we were willing to trade tons of picks for one of them it might have happened. Who knows.. but you have to try. Either way, most of us don't blindly support every move this team makes even if we're undying fans.
     
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  37. AGuyNamedAlex

    AGuyNamedAlex Well-Known Member

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    The idea of having to try something new because an approach in the NFL didn't work actually defies common sense.

    You cant say that making FA signings doesnt work just because you made the wrong ones.

    Our approach could have netted us Drew Brees, in which case youd most likely be applauding it.

    I'm all for doing what we are doing, but I hate when people make statements like that which show no understanding of how a process of team building actually works.

    Either approach can lead to success if you make the right moves, which is where we failed miserably.
     
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  38. cbrad

    cbrad . Club Member

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    The "just swapping around FA's" doesn't refer to the Brees/Culpepper trade. That's not "swapping around FA's".. that's going all-in on solving the QB problem with an approach that is theoretically preferable to tanking for the #1 pick because you're going after a proven QB.

    So you're taking this completely out of context. The "swapping around FA's" comment by Galant refers to what we've been doing since Ross bought the team, excepting 2018, where we've tried to add FA's hoping that they'd be the missing pieces to building a consistent winner. That approach hasn't worked, in good part because we don't have a franchise QB. So the question is how to get that franchise QB.

    I think all of us in favor of getting that #1 pick would be in favor of another Brees/Culpepper type trade to solve the QB problem if the opportunity arose, but those opportunities are even more rare than the #1 pick and it's not an option right now.
     
  39. Sceeto

    Sceeto Well-Known Member

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    Keen evaluation of the nature of a player, timing, circumstance and a s--t load of luck. That's how you get your special, great, franchise QB.
     
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2019
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  40. Sceeto

    Sceeto Well-Known Member

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    Oct 13, 2008
    New York
    Man, it's looking like we really may not have the first overall pick. Flores and co aren't trying to tank. Man, we almost beat the Jills. With their D/secondary, I thought they we're going to kill us, but no. Look at the NJ Jerkoffs and their little bug eyed douche of a head coach. I just saw the highlights from that game and man, Darnold was absolute garbage. I never understood why, around here last year in the NYC area, everyone was anointing him as this great franchise QB. After what? Based on what? Last season? A small handful of some"decent" plays from his teams' s--ty 4-11 season or whatever it was? I always said that Darnold had accuracy problems in college. Sheeet.

    I didn't want to lose out on Chase Young, but we just may. I wanted him with our first. However, I will always choose the win, but damn.
     
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2019
    Irishman likes this.

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