Just A Fan, Is Never Enough!

The Fin’s New Culture Is Clear

No BS Zone,

When there are significant changes at the top of an organization, it is accompanied by an uncertainty on what the rest of the staff (in this case players) can expect. Will it be business as usual or will there be major changes?

There is no question the Miami Dolphins are undergoing major changes, both in strategic philosophy and team culture. All I can say  is ABOUT TIME!

The HC and GM have sent a clear message in the last few weeks that attitude and off field behavior are paramount to the goal of the organization. No one person is bigger than the team!

One could argue that  the recent decisions to cut Chad Johnson less than 24 hours after a domestic assault charge or trading  former first round draft pick Vontae Davis for a poor attitude and lagging performance  was the decision of Jeff Ireland, Joe Philbin, or a combination.

Personally I believe it is a combination with a heavy influence from the HC. Remember, JP is from Green Bay and they have a long history of a “team first culture”. The culture in Miami started changing shortly after Philbin was hired with the trade of Brandon Marshall to the Bears for future draft picks. As most know, Marshall was the biggest part of the Dolphins offense in 2011, but that doesn’t matter in a team first environment..

Changing culture is not easy and it is almost always painful. There are still many fans upset with the trade of Brandon as well as Chad getting cut, and even Dontae being traded. Yes, that is painful, especially when you consider the team needed leadership from the WR position and is thin at Cornerback.

Does the recent actions remind you of anything or anyone? For all of us “old farts”. uh “veteran fans”, it is reminiscent of the Don Shula era. Don was the ultimate disciplinarian. His teams were so disciplined that not only did you rarely hear of off field trouble, they typically lead the league in fewest penalties.

Don’s players had such respect for him that the story goes that once a player overslept and missed practice. Rather than face Shula (THE JAW) with such a lame excuse, he made up a story that he was kidnapped. After a brief investigation by the police, the truth soon came out and he was sub-sequentially cut.

Is JP the next Don Shula? Let’s not get carried away here, but they do seem to have similar beliefs in what is best for the organization. While these recent personnel moves comes with short-term uncertainty for the team, there is no question the remaining players on the roster and future players will know what is expected and when they come to Miami. THEY WILL HAVE ENTERED THE NO BS ZONE!






  1. Paul says:

    So, I read most of this email, and am not generally one to comment on these… but I felt I had to as a lifelong Miami Dolphins fan.

    The culture in Miami is indeed changing… again. We have a new head coach… again. We’re offloading star players… again. The list goes on… again. One of the biggest problems that this organization faces is a lack of stability and direction in how things are done. The greatest coaches out there can “take his’uns and beat your’uns, and then take your’uns and beat his’uns.” Instead, with the volatility and instability at the head coaching position, GM position, ownership, etc over the past 10-12 years, they have tried to re-invent the wheel each time a portion of the team management is blown up. Granted, you will not see me protesting the team over the release/departure of coaches/GM’s such as Wannstedt, Saban, Spielman, Cameron, and others. Coaches like Shula took the players he had, regardless of strengths, and coached his team to the strengths and weaknesses they had. Csonka and Kiick? Let’s run the ball. Marino and the Marks Brothers? Let’s fire that ball all over the field. Jensen can do what? Let’s throw him in here and there and everywhere to take advantage of that.

    I don’t have an opinion on Philbin as of yet – it is far too early to judge that. I was disappointed that they released Sparano, as he started to “get it” during the season last year, and drastically adapted what he had to to be successful – and as you heard many analysts remark during the November/December stretch, once they adapted to the talents they had, the Dolphins were a team that was feared second only to Green Bay.

    I’m a little burned out on watching the team, after each subsequent regime change, go from “We want big guys, even if they’re slower” to “We want little guys, they’re quicker” – and on and on, causing the fins to try to replace many of their top 26 whilst retaining many of their bottom 27. It takes time to build a rock solid team that weathers the thick and thin year in and year out. If there is a great player availble, you grab him if you can and work what he does well into your scheme… not take a player and jam him into a scheme that negates his talent level. You’re not being fair to yourself, that player, your team or your fans when this occurs.

    This is beginning to look like a black hole of rebuilding, and something has to give. If Philbin is able to start showing promise, coaching to the talent he has, I’m in support of keeping him for the life of his contract and seeing if his vision can come to fruition in Miami. Otherwise, we’ll be back at square one in two years, replacing good players because they don’t match up with the scheme the new coach envisions without accounting for the talent he has and how his scheme can be adapted to maximize the talent on the roster.

  2. Fins4ever says:

    Thanks for the post Paul!

    I could not agree more on how important franchise stability is needed. We can’t expect any type of success, nonetheless sustained success by changing direction every few years.

    I am hoping we can keep this current group together for at least a few years and we see continued improvement. Unlike Parcells and Sparano, JP came from a place who has been tremendously successful and there is more hope than ever that we finally have a potentially elite QB.

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