Sure, there are roster questions. Sure, one wonders whether Dr. T can expect improved protection with Pouncey out, our best pass blocking back still sidelined and a marked lack of experience at multiple OL positions. Sure, there’s the question on whether Bill Lazor can breathe life into this offense, and properly employ the talents of Mike Wallace and Lamar Miller. Of course, many more personnel and strategy questions loom. However, one question still nags.
DID THEY QUIT?
Something beyond the X’s and O’s happened at the end of last season, with the playoffs hanging in the balance. Our beloved Miami Dolphins didn’t even get off the bus in two must-win games against wildly beatable teams. It looked, to eyes both trained and untrained, that this team had checked out. Whose fault is such a collapse? The NFL season is an absolute grind, no doubt. It’s many battles inside a greater war, with the “anything can happen” playoffs looming for the chosen few. There we were, on the precipice of said Promised Land, and the heart of this team went missing. Our tendency, despite the grey areas present in this (and almost every) situation, is to blame the General.
We’re forced to recall a similar time, when the team quit on Tony “The Mad Fistpumper” Sparano. Stephen “The Mad Waffler” Ross wound up bringing Tony back. This time Ross made big changes, but yet again decided to stop short of hanging a “Help Wanted” sign on the Head Coach’s office. If the end of last season was the players’ unspoken “no confidence” vote in Joe Philbin, then this could very well be another wasted season, just as Sparano’s “bonus year” turned out to be.
We’ll of course watch every snap of the preseason, we’ll study the changes on both sides of the ball, and examine the performance of our newcomers. But the clouds hanging over the Miami Dolphins this August are the same ones that gathered in late December, when we showed the least when it mattered most.
GO DOLPHINS, and feel free to follow us on Twitter @TheBottlenose or my personal handle @VaguelyFunnyDan