Early in this rebuild, when the team was torn down more than it has for quite a long time. The plan was to not just build a better team, that could make a run into the playoffs, but could do so repeatedly. Most everyone bought into this idea of a perennial playoff team.
Fast forward to about a third of the way through the third season and most everyone is calling for the GM Chris Grier to hit the skids, and HC Brian Flores is also being brought up in the same light.
So what went wrong? Most of the consensus points to the front office, the coaching, and scouting. It would seem there is something to this, but I will also add that the main plan of the rebuild might need some tweaking.
As most already know versatility has been a long running emphasis for all three phases of the team. It really shined on defense last season, but has sputtered this season after better talent was brought in, which is odd. It also lends credence to the above consensus points.
On paper having most of the team versatile seems to be on point. Look toward the NBA team the Miami Heat and their success wining championships running what they called “position less basketball”
Barry Jackson emphasis might be on drafting here, but it made me think of player development. Seemingly every season the Heat have some young phenom players they bring up from the developmental league and insert into the lineup.
Pat Riley much like Bill Belichick never seemed to put much emphasis into the draft, Pat has traded off most of the first round picks well into future seasons. If things don’t pickup quickly with this last class (and there is early promise) this is something that GM Chris Grier might want to look into.
If you look at the link thread Jackson also brings up “Heat making six Finals in last 15 years and Dolphins not winning playoff game in 20 years.” Does this point out a failure of the Miami Dolphins front office, coaching and scouting? It would seem so, or at least in comparison to the Heat.
If you are instant on versatility from players it just makes the above cycle of failure that much easier to commit. Drafting players is already fickle, it just gets harder. Same with free agency, and even more so when spending seems to be an issue, unless it’s for a wide receiver that’s injury prone to add to the rest of injury prone receivers.
One of my earlier write ups this last off-season was championing for OT Orlando Brown in a trade. Back then the Miami Dolphins had OG Ereck Flowers, a player that failed playing tackle, but did well playing guard. Brown was the flip-side of that, he only wanted to play tackle, for his own reasons (probably pay scale) but the trade price most likely would have been lower because of that.
What I had forgetting about back then was versatility. The Dolphins just love swing linemen on offense, players that can play more than one position on the line. Flowers was traded and they probably never gave a thought into acquiring Brown.
Flowers probably would have been the best guard at this moment if he had stayed, the same might be said for Brown at tackle, but hey players can rotate! Austin Jackson had to rotate to guard, but that is a story all of it’s own, and we are back to square one.
So not only is proficiency sacrificed for versatility, you also have to pay more for it, something the Miami Dolphins don’t do, and there is a rotation of players brought in for depth, with a hope of hitting on some phenom.