Dolphins Social Media Issues Need To End

TAMPA, FL - AUGUST 16: Offensive tackle Ja'Wuan James
TAMPA, FL - AUGUST 16: Offensive tackle Ja'Wuan James /

Social media issues are drowning the Miami Dolphins. Mix those issues with the South Beach temptations, Gase is quickly learning that quality of person is equally as important as quality on the field.

Laremy Tunsil sat in Chicago with gold chains hanging a half foot lower than his bowtie. The feeling of helplessness assuredly sweeping over him as the pictures surfaced, pictures that he had taken months ago and thought long gone. These pictures were going to cost him millions as he slid out of the top ten and into Miami’s lap. Did he have off field issues or questions coming into the draft? No.

I’m sure the step-father threatened or demanded money before the pictures were released. Why else would you do it? I can’t see a person just dropping a spontaneous bomb for no reason or benefit to himself. I could be wrong, but what must be going through a young man’s head when a grown middle age man is threatening your future?

Jonathan Martin, far removed from the NFL and still in a dark place, released images of a shot gun with shells spread on the bed like pine cones in an Idaho campground. Hash tags littered the post with threats to the Dolphins, teammates, and his former high school. The former high school even had to shut down due to his post.

Jonathan came from the same draft as Tannehill, Oliver Vernon, and Lamar Miller. All three became very talented Miami players proving that the scouting team had done its job. Jonathan also came from the best university in the nation, outside the Ivy League. His family was successful and supported him. There were no signs the Jonathan was struggling, yet, a mere few weeks ago, with all that going for him, Martin found himself outside the NFL and in a mental facility.

Chris Foerester was a long established offensive line coach and highly valued by Gase and ownership. He was one of the highest paid assistants in the league as he had been an offensive line coach for the 49ers, Redskins, Ravens, Bucs, and Vikings. His coaching career had further spread to the Colts, Stanford, and Colorado State since the early 80’s. Yet, the veteran coach found himself in his room, recording himself as he shot white powder up his nose and designated the video to questionable company.

Foerester had never had issues before and it had to be borderline impossible to know that this was coming. Chris was immediately dismissed and his life and family left in shambles. He got the help he needed and is adamant that his life is going in the right direction. Yet, he is still without a job and the former coach has a lot of ground to make up before he is brought back into the fold.

The list could continue. Names like Brent Grimes, Don Jones, Mike Pouncy, and Jay Cutler’s butt can all be brought into this conversation. Recently, Josh Allen found himself in some draft social media controversy with racist posts from months ago. It’s no secret that this is not isolated to South Beach. Players and coaches alike are falling victim to stupidity on social media.

Players and coaches are successful. They have opportunities to enjoy their lives via nightlife and off season activities. One wrong move at any time, whether sober or not, will potentially sink a player. I have recently started to use twitter regularly for this position (give me a follow @TravRichard) and it’s insane to see the posts that regularly cross my feed. Players are saints compared to us fans, yet, we are critical of them to a fault.

Why am I bringing these skeletons up? What a weird time to talk about something like this. I will be completely transparent and tell you why I was inspired to write on this. I recently watched the All or Nothing series focusing on the Dallas Cowboys. The star of the beginning and end of the show was their running back, Ezekiel Elliot. Why just the start and end? Because Zeke was dealing with off field issues that threatened suspension.

If you watch the NFL at all, you know how long that process drew out. Zeke was in legal battles for months. One moment he was suspended, then he wasn’t, then he was, it was ridiculous.

The biggest thing that stood out to me while watching the show wasn’t the drama of the sequence, but the effect it had on the young player.

He was exhausted, not sleeping well, not focused, and suffered in a couple of games due to it. The Cowboys eventually lost him for 6 weeks and missed out on the playoffs. Even so, they still were the last team to beat the future Super Bowl champions, Eagles.

The take home for Miami fans is this: players that are model citizens, prioritize football, and have a passion for playing, are becoming a premium. You look at the Dolphins offseason acquisitions and draft picks. Not a lot of off field question marks. No social media issues. Focused guys that are passionate.

Miami is a bigger temptation than other places. Not only is it a bigger temptation, but the mere stress of being involved in a controversy will take a player out of his game. He will produce at a much lower standard and it will kill the team.

However, the days of Miami vices of social media are done.

The Dolphins are starting a culture change and that change is starting online.