Dolphins make big changes, but keep one big piece to rebuild
Miami is starting from scratch under Chris Grier, and it's about time
MIAMI – The Miami Dolphins have finally changed the hierarchy to the front office and made significant changes to the football operations. Yet, so much of it will feel strangely familiar.
Let's start with the changes. Adam Gase is out as head coach. Mike Tannenbaum is out as the man heading football operations.
That's a great start to most Dolphins fans who felt that duo was responsible for so many of the shortcomings the team has had over the last three seasons.
So, after all that change, owner Stephen Ross held a news conference to introduce us to the man who will usher in the new era. His name is Chris Grier. What, wait?
Yes, he's the same Chris Grier who was the Dolphins general manager over the last three years and has been a member of Miami's organization since 2000 when he joined as a scout.
Let me set the record straight on Grier. I think he's a good football man. I think he's helped the Dolphins make some nice picks in the draft and could step into the role and succeed.
I also believe it was an odd way to present things to Dolphins fans as if this was some kind of fresh change. It's not.
Grier gets his shot to fix a Dolphins franchise that has been broken for a very long time, and he's been here for a big part of that time.
Maybe he was the diamond in the rough who made it through all the madness and can now help turn the team around. I wouldn't call it an inspiring choice, but it is a safe one for Stephen Ross who didn't seem ready to truly scrap the front office from top to bottom.
No matter who was heading the football decisions, that person had to find the right head coach, and it was clear Gase wasn't the man.
Gase could very well turn out to be a good head coach somewhere else, but in Miami he failed badly. He was brought in as some offensive, quarterback guru, and the Dolphins offense was near the bottom in every season he was here.
He didn't help Ryan Tannehill take the next step (I'm not sure anyone can) and he handpicked Jay Cutler and Brock Osweiler as backups and both were terrible.
More importantly, he lost the Dolphins locker room. I'm not sure he ever really had it. He alienated himself from some of the most talented Dolphins players. From Jay Ajayi, Jarvis Landry, Ndamnukong Suh, Kenyan Drake and Reshad Jones. Gase kept pushing people away to establish his "culture" and "identity" for the team. When it was all said and done, he left a fractured locker room with no real leader.
That's all on Gase. He was the common denominator in these issues.
The Dolphins don't just have a culture problem, they have a talent problem. I've been saying for years now that the team needs to rebuild. They've been piecing things together thinking they can partially rebuild and still contend. It was all a waste of years of continued 7-9, 8-8 mediocrity. This team isn't close to being a contender and they need to truly rebuild.
Now that task is handed to Grier. Whether you agree with the decision or not, at least he's one voice. He will be the voice and authority on what happens next for Miami, from helping to find the next head coach to helping rebuild the roster. That will also include identifying who will be the new QB to replace Tannehill long term.
Better late than never, the Dolphins are finally starting things from scratch, though in typical Dolphins fashion, the past still has some fingerprints on the big decisions ahead.
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