The Dolphins are my early favorite to earn the No. 1 pick in the 2012 draft, thus winning the Andrew Luck sweepstakes.
Miami finished 7-9, so I realize that I’m going out on a limb. Right now they have far more talent than the Panthers, Bills or Browns – just to name a few. But they’re quickly headed in the wrong direction.
For starters, just look how they ended the 2010 season. They went 1-4 in December and January, including losses to the Browns, Bills and Lions. With Tony Sparano’s job on the line, the team didn’t exactly step up for their coach.
As bad as the Dolphins were down the stretch, however, their owner is the real reason why I think they’re headed towards a miserable 2011 season.
Shortly after the season ended Stephen Ross interviewed Jim Harbaugh. The only problem with that was he already had a head coach. And he never told Tony Sparano or anyone else that his current head coach’s job was in jeopardy.
After butchering the coaching situation, Ross decided to get involved with the playcalling, asking for a hurry-up offense. More specifically, he wants the offense to become more “aggressive” and “creative.”
So what better way for Ross to ensure that his team’s offense becomes “aggressive” and “creative” than by hiring former Browns offensive coordinator Brian Daboll, who was nothing short of an epic failure during his two years in Cleveland.
If you thought the ‘Phins offense was abysmal in 2010 – they finished 30th in the league – just wait until Daboll gets his hands on Brandon Marshall and company. Not only does Daboll have a knack for poor clock management and unimaginative playcalling, but he’ll likely be losing his most productive playmakers.
Ricky Williams and Ronnie Brown are both free agents, and both are still searching for their first career playoff victory. Williams is 33 and Brown is 29 and neither has much left in the tank, as a result I would be surprised to see either back in South Beach.
And I haven’t even mentioned the quarterback situation. Chad Henne, who was benched in favor of Chad Pennington at one point this season, is still under contract but doesn’t exactly have the confidence of the coaching staff. If Ross continues down this path of over-involvement it’s only a matter of time before he pulls an Al Davis and falls in love with Cam Newton or Jake Locker.
And if the dominoes continue to fall in this order, it won’t be long before Brandon Marshall is pouting and demanding a trade.
It’s getting ugly in Miami, and I’m jumping off the bandwagon early. The only good news for Dolphins fans is that the best quarterback prospect of the past decade may await them in next April’s draft.