At the start of the 2010 season, expectations were high. The Miami Dolphins came out of the off-season with a stellar All-Pro LB and an All-Pro WR. The running game was going to be fantastic, Chad Henne was going into his second year, and the return of Vontae’ Davis and Sean Smith had the makings of something special. Yet, for all that expectation, many fans and members of the media thought that the Dolphins would be a 4 win 4 loss team at the half-way point. So here we are at the half-way point and guess what, we are 4 and 4 and everyone is complaining.
And rightly so.
The first half of the season was going to be tough. Road games against playoff teams, home games against tough division opponents. While the Phins won the games on the road they faltered at home. Surprisingly, only two games all season were out of reach by the midway point of the 4th quarter. The Special Teams Monday Night Meltdown game and last weeks Baltimore game. In every other game, home and away, the Dolphins have been in position to either win, or maintain the lead.
What has everyone upset is the lack of offensive production. The running game, so dominant in years past, has scored three times for touchdowns. The passing attack which simply looks lost isn’t putting Brandon Marshall into the end-zone. The coaches play calling and time management is horrible and has yet to improve. Dan Henning and Tony Sparano are so conservative that they make Dave Wannstedt’s offense look like Shula and Marino.
While fans have expected a .500 mid-season record, it’s the way the team has lost that has them irate. Special teams, defensive breakdowns, poor play calling, Chad Henne’s lack of enthusiasm as a field general. I can hear Chad getting the mic calls in his helmet. “Don’t run, take your time, don’t throw any interceptions. Just make smart decisions.” And that isn’t working.
Fans are disappointed over the run, pass, run mentality that leaves arm chair QB’s calling the plays before Henning does. Find a scheme that works and instead go with something else. Move the ball and toss in the Wild Cat to let the other team know you brought it to the NFL. It’s no wonder fans are upset and wondering what’s going on.
The latest of course is the release of Jason Allen and the benching of Chad Henne. While Allen comes as a little less of a shock, the truth is something is going on down in Miami that we don’t understand or know about. Moves like these are “win now” moves and this regime has never done that or believed in that. So why now? Why when they are so close to turning the next corner into something great. Seriously. They are close, looking at three of their losses leaves you realizing that turning a couple of FG’s into TD’s makes the difference in the game. It also puts your young QB in a position to play not to lose deep in the fourth quarter as opposed to playing to come back and win.
So again, why now? Why when you see the turn ahead do you make a change now? Stopping for gas maybe? Chad Pennington will get dinged up and Chad Henne will come back in. Not because he was the starter and had the confidence of his coach but because the team had little other choice.
These Miami Dolphins coaches and managers made the decision to move forward in rebuilding this franchise and along with that they said would be patience. Apparently, their patience has worn out and maybe that’s because their welcome is running out as well.