There are a lot of things we can point at when it comes to the Miami Dolphins as a reason for this stellar start but Chris Grier gets most of the fingers.
From missed draft picks to failed free agents, Grier is the Miami Dolphins football operations top guy. Say what you want but while he answers to Stephen Ross and Tom Garfinkel, Grier is the top football guy in the organization. So when the toilet overflows from the bottom, he is the one left holding the plunger and needs to figure out the answers.
His biggest failure by far is on the offensive line. Forget about drafting Jaelan Phillips over Najee Harris or Noah Igbinoghene over Jonathan Taylor. Those are easy misses that many teams make. No, he fails because he has yet to fix the offensive line. As a result, there is no running game. There is no protection for Tua Tagovailoa. There is no deep passes downfield because there isn’t time.
The line has been built so badly by Chris Grier that he has failed to solve the problems through free agency and the draft combined. Grier didn’t want to overpay for top free agents so he skipped them and added D.J. Fluker and Matt Skura. He drafted Austin Jackson who had health concerns and a smaller body of college work rather than draft a better prospect with more experience.
Last year, knowing the team needed to address the center position, Grier moved up in the second round but not for a top center. Instead, he drafted a guard/tackle prospect in Liam Eichenberg.
All of that doesn’t matter. Had they worked out or were working out, no one would be saying anything. Miami drafted a left tackle in Jackson at pick 18, he could have drafted Cesar Ruiz who has started every game for the Saints at center.
We can dismiss the draft picks. They are often hit or miss and while we can debate the selection of Jaylen Waddle over Penei Sewell, the reality is that Miami wanted someone who touched the ball. I get that. What I don’t understand is the $10 million guaranteed to Will Fuller or the additional money to appease Xavien Howard but yet Miami wouldn’t spend on top free agent lineman even thought they had the money to spend.
Not all of this is on Chris Grier but as the team’s GM and again, top football guy, that is his job. Brian Flores has hired four and fired three offensive line coaches in two years and nine games. The man running the unit now has little experience and it shows. Lineman miss communicate and as a result they miss blocks. That leads to everything else.
Whether you believe the issue is Griers or Flores’ the reality is that Miami has huge problems on offense and every single one of them could be masked with even a marginal offensive line. They have a horrible one instead.
Grier’s failures on the offensive line could be handed off to Flores. Grier has spent draft capital. Robert Hunt, Solomon Kindley, Eichenberg, Jackson, Isaiah Prince, Michael Dieter, and Larnel Coleman. Yet for all those picks, only Hunt seems to be trending in the right direction, maybe Dieter as well. This could imply that the issue is coaching. So while Grier has apparently tried, he is still, ultimately responsible for the fact that it has not been fixed. Personally, it makes me wonder why he isn’t forcing changes on Flores.