As usual, everyone has all kinds of opinions of what the Dolphins need to do to improve. And as usual, the so-called Dolphins experts and insiders are just re-hashing each other’s words.
We keep hearing about the Dolphins’ need to upgrade at linebacker, offensive line, and defensive backfield. We don’t dispute those needs, but we’re also not going to be the one-millionth article that states the same old thing.
Instead, we’re going to discuss a few vital needs where the Dolphins are sorely lacking.
Let’s start off with the dire need for a new head coach. Not much we can say here, except that this is one need that we know will not be filled. Stephen Ross has already assured us of another non-playoff season next year by foisting Clueless Joe upon us again. So let’s move beyond this one and concentrate on positions where the owner does not dictate who we’re stuck with.
Caleb Sturgis isn’t a good kicker. He’s unreliable. His leg isn’t strong. His aim is off. And no opponent fears him. Sturgis has never blown a game-winner in overtime or anything dramatic like that. This is partially due to the fact that his misses earlier in the game ensure that we don’t make it into overtime. But he misses early and often, and his misses sap all the life out of his teammates.
In December alone, when it most counts, Sturgis missed FOUR field goals. To make matters worse, Joe Philbin keeps relying on the guy as though he were Sebastian Janakowski. Philbin is the only man on earth who thinks that sending out Sturgis to try a 53-yarder is a good idea.
On a positive note, Sturgis does have five career tackles, which is about the same amount as Dion Jordan.
The problem here is compounded by the fact that Joe Philbin doesn’t believe we need a fullback to begin with. So Philbin needs to realize he is wrong (which he never realizes), and then find the right player. For several years now, the Dolphins have not kept a full-time fullback on the roster. Instead, they’ve dropped a tight end into the backfield.
The results speak for themselves.
The Dolphins are atrocious on third-and-short situations. Even worse at 4th-and-short.
Part of that is because of Philbin (he refuses to go for it on fourth-and-inches and instead sends out Sturgis to miss field goals. And when we do go for it on rare occasions, Philbin refuses to try a simple QB sneak).
Remember a few years ago when we had Lousaka Polite? The guy was a first-down machine. The defense knew he was gonna get the ball, and they couldn’t stop him anyway. THAT’S what we need again.
We didn’t even bother to look up Brandon Fields’ stats this year because just going from memory, he wasn’t good. Earlier in his career, he was a game-changer with the ability to take us from deep in our own territory to deep inside the opponents’. But those days faded. Coming off a great 2013, Fields got elected to the Pro Bowl and got himself a nice fat raise. And then it’s like he stopped trying. He had a very average 2014 that needs to be corrected immediately.
Look, it’s pretty simple. After Cortland Finnegan and Brent Grimes, the Dolphins have no cornerbacks of note. Will Allen and Jamar Taylor simply are not NFL-caliber backs. RJ Stanford gets picked off the streets at the end of the year, and he ends up playing better than any of the other guys. That is pretty sad.
We need a major improvement here. Darrell Revis has played for about 47 teams, but Joe Philbin is one of the few coaches who doesn’t think we need him. Of course not. In Philbin’s mind, Will Allen is a much better CB than Revis.
Our safeties were adequate when they were healthy and not getting themselves suspended. But adequate is not enough to win championships. The Dolphins need to toughen up the guys they have and find some improvements via free agency as well. Watching Jimmy Wilson run around out there trying to catch up to receivers has gotten really old really fast.
Your thoughts, Dolfans?