Bad drafts, musical chairs at the head coach position, and the inability to find a franchise quarterback have taken this once storied franchise and turned it into an embarrassment. Over the last decade the Dolphins have chosen players such as Jamar Fletcher, Ted Ginn Jr., and Jason Allen with their 1st round draft selection and the 2nd round has owned this franchise with the likes of Samson Satele, John Beck, Eddie Moore, and Chad Henne being absolute duds. Making the playoffs was the norm for the Miami Dolphins, a franchise that has made the playoffs 22 times in their 45 year history. Today the Dolphins haven’t won a playoff game since 2000 and have their fifth head coach in the last seven years but this off-season the best thing that could have happened to this franchise occurred and that was the Dolphins missing out on Peyton Manning.
How could missing out on one of the best players that has ever played the game be a good thing for this franchise? Peyton Manning would been a band-aid on this broken team that might have helped this team win in the short term but it doesn’t fix the ultimate issue that the Dolphins have battled which is stability. The musical chairs approach to the head coach and quarterback position are the main reasons that the franchise is in disarray and people such as Jeff Fisher and Peyton Manning do not want to be a part of the organization. Losing out on Peyton forced the Dolphins to spend their 1st round draft selection on a quarterback for the first time since 1983 when they selected Dan Marino. The Dolphins took Ryan Tannehill who is a player who is not a sure thing by any means but is also a player that has the tools to be a franchise quarterback that will play at high level for a long time to come. Missing out on Peyton Manning forced the Dolphins into locking up their best defensive players (Cameron Wake and Paul Soliai). Missing out on Peyton Manning forced the Dolphins’ brass to do the “Hard Knocks” television show on HBO. All of these moves were made to save face with the fans but are ultimately the type of moves that successful organizations make.
Despite a mediocre 2011 season Dolphins fans have a lot to be excited about heading into the 2012 season. They hired a coach in Joe Philibin who is going to develop an up-tempo style of offense which focuses on attacking the opposing defense in the passing game. The team had a very solid draft selecting the likes of Jonathan Martin, Olivier Vernon, Lamar Miller, Josh Kaddu BJ Cunningham, Kheeston Randall, Rishard Matthews, and of course Ryan Tannehill which filled major holes that haunted the team in 2011. The team decided to do “Hard Knocks” which brings excite to the team and fan base to be the highlight of such a desired television program. Most importantly the Dolphins took a major risk and drafted a quarterback in the first round of the draft. The Dolphins have tried trading for a quarterback (Trent Green, Daunte Culpepper), drafting one after round one (John Beck, Chad Henne), and signing free agents (Chad Pennington) with no luck and the one route they haven’t tried in replacing Dan Marino was using that highly touted first round selection on a quarterback. We have had this type of excitement in the past just to be let down but for the first time it seems that the Miami Dolphins are taking the right approach in rebuilding this franchise. After many attempts at retooling it was time to rebuild;