The Downside of Cutting Dallas Thomas and Billy Turner

First of all, right off the start, don’t get me wrong.  I will not defend the play of Turner or Thomas.  They had some potential but never lived up to it, never excelled, never seemed passionate enough to destroy any competition.  Whether it was an opponent on Sunday afternoons or a rookie lineman fighting to take their jobs away in camp, Thomas and Turner never once raised their game to an acceptable level.

Last Sunday at around noon, Thomas and Turner were warming up, expecting to take their usual role on the Dolphins bench where they belonged.  But then some strange things happened.

Strike one:   Brandon Albert, who was sick 5 days earlier, said he couldn’t play.   That meant Laremy Tunsil would play left tackle again, and either Thomas or Turner would fill in at left guard.

Strike two:   Laremy Tunsil called offensive line coach Chris Foerster and said he tripped in the shower and can’t play.

Strike three:   Adam Gase made the deadly decision to move BOTH Thomas and Turner to the left side, where neither one had ever played.

Meanwhile, Jermon Bushrod is a Pro Bowl left tackle and a Super Bowl champion.  Gase decided to leave him at right guard and stubbornly stuck with Thomas and Turner on the left side.

I won’t defend the overall play of Thomas and Turner over the years, but as far as last Sunday goes, I’ll cut them both some slack for one game anyway.    Both were unprepared to play, and I feel that’s the coach’s fault.  All 53 men need to step up and step in at any given time, but that is rarely the case with the mediocre Dolphins.   Can you name me ONE time in the last decade when a backup player came in during an emergency and instantly became a success?   Happens CONSTANTLY on other teams, but never once to the Dolphins.  The coaching just doesn’t prepare our guys to perform.

And even if they ARE ready to perform, Gase hurts our team by putting them into positions that they never played before.  Yes, Sunday’s line situation was an unprecedented emergency, but it’s not like Gase didn’t have options.

Gase had a Pro Bowl left tackle on his roster, and Gase chose to ignore him.

Don’t blame Tannenbaum or Ireland or Thomas and Turner or the curse of destroying the Orange Bowl or Stephen Ross for that one.  Only one person made such a brutally bad decision.

From pre-season: Sam Young grabs a hold or a Cowboy lineman. FLAG DOWN!
From pre-season: Sam Young grabs a hold or a Cowboy lineman. FLAG DOWN!

Okay, so we just cut two backup lineman.  Shouldn’t be the end of the world, right?   The problem now is that we have no one to replace them.  Even for depth.  Even for just an emergency.   We re-signed lineman Sam Young, a journeyman tackle who’s on his 4th team in 5 years.   Not exactly reassuring.  He can’t be much worse that Thomas and Turner or even Jason Fox, but time will tell if he is better.

So we have virtually zero depth on our offensive line, and the Dolphins decided to get rid of 2 guys and replace them with one.  Let’s hope nobody else slips in the shower.   By the way, who the hell takes a shower right before suiting up?   I know the NFL has mandated programs that rookies have to attend.   Rookies are required to attend classes on drug usage, avoiding leeches/entourages, and how to handle the millions of dollars you’re now receiving, etc.   Laremy Tunsil obviously missed the class about using drugs.    Now he needs a special one-on-one tutor to tell him that he should shower AFTER the game.

I have a feeling that both Turner and Thomas will show up on another team’s roster, and they’ll have decent careers as a backup, as long as they’re in a system where teamwork is a priority instead of being in Dolphinland, where you’re expected to win every single one one one battle or else get cut.

Meanwhile, Adam Gase continues to defend and praise Tannehill, and cutting Turner and Thomas proves how short-sighted Gase is.   Look, there has to be a time when you expect your QB to evade a blitz.   Even if you have all 5 lineman lay down and you allow 6 rushers to run right at a QB, if he’s in the shotgun, he still has a second to get the ball away.  To sidestep one of the 6 rushers.   To lunge forward.   Anything.   My point is no matter how bad the line does on a particular play, the QB can do some things to alleviate the problem.   But Tannehill has zero skills in that regard.   He sees rushers and does nothing to evade them.   Every single week.

Gase is not wrong when he blames the linemen for getting Tannehill killed out there.   But he IS wrong when he blames ONLY the linemen.

He IS wrong when he calls 18 different plays that require a 7-yard dropback.   EIGHTEEN different times Gase decided to trust the linemen.   Fool me once, shame on you.   Fool me 18 times, and that proves our head coach is in over his head.

He refused to call rollouts, QB draws, read-options, and (God forbid) any trick plays.   He watched our linemen get decimated play after play, and how did he fix it?  He called the same play again.

Meanwhile, he watched Tannehill just stand there as if he had a ticket to the game, instead of being in the game.   Does that guy EVER step up in the pocket?  EVER?

So yeah, all in all, Turner and Thomas won’t be missed, but I hate to see them hit the road because of Ryan Tannehill’s inability to move and Adam Gase’s refusal to do anything about it.

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  1. Thomas and Turner were waived and no one in their right mind will claim them so they will likely end up on the practice squad. Then one of them will be promoted because Tunsil will confuse the ganja for oregano. Just plain old Miami luck…

    1. Author

      In Miami (under both Philbin and Gase), Billy Turner was asked to block one-on-one a superior defensive opponent, and Billy lost most of the time. With a smarter coach who will scheme a way to give Billy help, he could be productive. I’ve been screaming for years that we have no maximum-protection schemes like other teams do. When we run 5 wideouts, we only have 5 not-too-good blockers. If we keep in 8 blockers instead and just let Landry and Parker run around, good things will happen.

  2. There’s nothing wrong with the Dolphins that a franchise QB wouldn’t fix….

  3. Admin I completely agree with you about putting Thomas and Turner on the same side and not shuffling the line more. There could be a very good explanation in the background we know nothing about but your thoughts seem sound enough to me.

    As far as the cut. I agree 100% and here’s why. As a player you should be frothing at the mouth for a chance any chance to crack the starting line up or contribute and justify your place no matter what you are called upon to do. Yes I understand asking a line man to kick field goals is stretching that ideal but you get my point at least I hope you do. Now re read your article and as much as I hate to sound rude you’re actually making excuses for both of them for their play. Yes out of position true but completely worlds away NO! And I propose their blocking assignments were most likely simplified to improve their chances of success. “Hey just block him okay? nothing fancy , no 2nd level expectations. Just block the guy coming.” Ive had to do this when I ran teams for years and it worked when I put someone out of place. I would simplify their role and take the pressure off. And they excelled more often than not. But then again they were 2nd stingers dying to start and contribute.

    Culturally this team needs to rid itself of those whom ride out their contracts using excuses to justify their incredible salaries. And the other players on this team that are far too comfortable in their spots need to be sent that message loud and clear. This must saturate the minds of our team if they will ever elevate and play as if the game and their future in the NFL really matter. These moves are so Shula style and I love every minute of it. No more nice guy politics, next man up, be damned the consequences or this team is destined to repeat the past. And we all know Tannehill can see the writing on the wall and I like that indirect effect too.

    1. Exactly. Trim the fat- players who are only there to collect paychecks.

    2. Author

      Yes, I was somewhat making excuses for these guys. I didn’t like either of them, but I hate to see the coach make them into scapegoats. Our defense was shredded and gave up 30 freakin points to one of the worst offenses out there. So Billy Turner loses his job. That’s a head scratcher.
      But…you are 100% correct about them not dying for the chance to prove themselves. They were far too passive. I’m now afraid to see what a championship coach like Jim Harbaugh will do with Turner, as the Ravens just picked him up. And we have to play them in a feew months.

      1. I dont care Turner was part of the problem… HERE in Miami. His attitude still vested in the philbin we gotta get better way. He probably will play better when thrust into a new team and culture that simply wont put up with that. Our team’s culture is the problem. The holdovers and underperformers need to go if we are to ever have the slightest fleeting grasp at excellence. The writing was on the wall before they stepped to the line and they fell back on the out of position excuse. I ask this . Did Steen do that? I rest my case.

        1. And still no reply about Steen. Or lemme go back a few years Nate Garner. Remember when he played center for Pouncey when he had a stomach virus or something? Never played center before and played outstanding. I think he played center when we defeated the Bengals at home with the safety thanks to Cam Wake.

          We need universal culture change. It starts with amputation then with inclusion. Cant have one before the other.

  4. Im so fired up right now its as if we won last week. FINALLY FOLKS Dallas Thomas is (please god don’t let me be wrong) gone from this team. Hes a Jonathan Martin cancer encouraging all other players to play like shit because he sets the bar so low. Others think well if I’m playing better than him my spot must be assured. Too much security and not enough urgency is what I see from this team and that needs stop. We need culture change. Go Gase!

    1. Tannehill sucks and I agree with you jay. Even Tannehill himself cautiously and in so many words admitted he needs to scramble in the pocket in his press conference.

      The tea leaves tell me that if Tannehill doesn’t set the world on fire soon. This will be his last season and Gase is doing everything in the world short of benching him to paint him into a corner he cant use excuses to escape from. We may not have a good season this year but the personnel responsible will be purged… hopefully.

    1. Yeah, it wasn’t Turners fault that TannePuke stinks!!

  5. Bené Benwikere spent the afternoon getting trampled by Atlanta receiver Julio Jones for a staggering 300 yards in a performance so dreadful but the Dullfins picked him up anyway!! YIKES!!!

    1. Agreed Jay but doing nothing insures we get the same outcome. Atleast we are trying something. Yes getting Josh Norman or Derell Revis would be wayyyy better but. Atleast something is being done. In the past Philbin would just let the same schmucks Dallas Thomas stay on the team and continue the suck. Benwikere might be hungry to redeem himself maybe not. But what we’ve had isn’t getting it done either so.

      1. Picking up players that stink doesn’t help anything.

        1. I know Jay I addressed that in my previous reply.

    2. Author

      LOL, Jay. I was just going to write something similar, but you beat me. Some Dolphin executive must have some reason for signing him. Who knows.

  6. I’ve never seen a QB get so many coaches and players fired! LOL

    Miko Grimes was right on!!

  7. Author

    By the way, I predict Pittsburgh will beat us like 41-18, and Adam Gase will say “See, by sticking with Ryan Tannehill we scored more points than we did last week.”

    1. Gase might stick with tannehill or maybe Gase is covering his true feelings so he can stay clean and sterile of his assessment when he does bench Tannehill. It could be said that he publicly stated no confidence in Tannehill and that caused Tannehill to perform poorly. I hope and prey hes that smart. In his press conferences he’s thrown out clues here and there. Lets suspend judgment until we know for sure if Gase is either working the crowd or being 100% honest.

      1. Gase is following the owners instructions like the yes man he is. I’m sure he knows TannePuke stinks….it’s not rocket science! LOL

  8. I yearn for the Joe Philbin days! YIKES!!

  9. Pretty sure Thomas was a left tackle in college. Not everything is the coaches fault and no coach will turn a garbage team around in 5 games. Wanting to fire gase is stupid especially if he has no choice but to play tannehill

    1. Why are my comments showing up under someone else’s name I’m zach

  10. Why I’m I posting under the name kelrvet I’m zach

    1. Author

      Zach, I think our site had this issue a few weeks ago. When you start writing a comment, it’s getting messed up and including someone else’s name. I’ll look into it. Sorry !

    2. Its cookies or your using the same email in the box. For example every time I visit here the cookies already fill in the box my screen name and the email I use. Check the box before you post the comment.

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