Fins Attempting To Build A TEAM… But Fans Are Nervous
The road less traveled might make all the difference… but it’s rocky as hell
First off, I want to say right-up-front, this article isn’t about criticizing any segment of the Aqua Findom… not in the least–not even close. I don’t fault either side: those fans who are doubtful or those who are highly optimistic.
I get the whole range of Fin Fans expectations for the 2017 Season–I do.
You see, even though I’m firmly entrenched in the very optimistic segment, I too am a bit nervous about this season, because Miami is attempting the noble, but very difficult, process of building a team like the big boys… and Mike Tannenbaum, who is the architect, has been hit and miss over his career.
Yeah, it does seem like I’m straddling the fence so I don’t step in the mud of either side, huh?
It might seem like I’m not planting my foot, but that’s not the case.
Miami Dolphins football has run thick in my blood since 1978. I had the poor timing of being born just after their era of dominance… and I have been waiting, and waiting, and waiting… and waiting for it to return.
Don Shula and Dan Marino made the wait fun. Zach Thomas and Jason Taylor, held back by inept coaching, made the wait bearable.
But now, I’m antsy and nervous, especially with two decades of terrible play, and being far closer to the grave than birth from when this journey began.
Brilliance is the minimum requirement needed to build an excellent team
Most fans would agree that Adam Gase is the best thing–as far as coaching goes–that’s come Miami’s way in decades. His presence offers hope that better days are closer than they’ve been in quite some time… but here’s what makes me nervous: even the best coaches need good horses to win the race.
In an effort to win now, Miami has tried to be the #1 team in the offseason by picking up the stars of Free Agency. It hasn’t worked. Actually, it’s been a total bust.
Meanwhile, the Patriots have been scrounging through the scrap heap for players and tossing stars from the roster… and they’ve been winning and winning.
Yeah, I feel sick admitting it.
But there was a time when the Dolphins too operated with a more nuanced approach to personnel. When Coach Shula first arrived, building a TEAM based on chemistry, character, and filling a role was the foundation with a spackling of stars that was the framework for a perfect season.
So here we are again, building in the same way, and it’s making plenty of us nervous because if the talent acquisition side screws this one up bad, it could mess with Gase’s chances of being a long time Fin. It happened with Jimmy Johnson, who tried to take the road less traveled and the path led him to burn out and retirement.
Fans have demanded a quality team, well Miami’s FO is taking the steps for just that
But here’s the reality of it: This difficult mode of building is the only way to create a sustainable and competitive team in modern football. You must draft exceptionally well in value and find player deep into the latter rounds and post draft, because depth is as crucial as stars. Money in Free Agency needs to be spent like a tight wad and rarely on big purchases. Leaders and ‘your type of guys’ must be kept and not sent packing when their first contract is up. Chemistry isn’t some cute concept, but rather the glue that binds a successful team together.
It doesn’t take a pay per head sportsbook to figure out this means it’s brilliance or bust for this regime… and a big swing is a big whiff or big hit.
For decades, we fans have mostly known what’s better or the team than the regime running the franchise. Maybe we have forgotten that’s not always the case… and maybe, just maybe, this time those running the team don’t have their heads jammed straight up their keister?
Great teams are smarter than the fans
Bottom line is, either we build like the big boys or we’ll go nowhere. And if this FO and staff isn’t smarter than we are, then what the hell is the point anyway?
I believe Gase is the real deal, but Tannenbaum and Chris Grier need to prove they are too–and this is the season they need to do it.
Very soon we’ll find out the truth if we are contenders or pretenders as far as talent of leadership. But you know what, I’ll take a winning game plan even if they screw it up verse failure at every level. At the very least they are headed in the right direction. And at most, we have leadership who knows better than us and will earn the blind trust that great teams do. Go Fins!!!