Dolphins Relying on Hope to Turn Things Around
The Miami Dolphins ignored a myriad of red flags and decided they knew enough about Ole Miss left tackle Laremy Tunsil to draft him 13th overall in the 2016 NFL Draft on Thursday. They hope, along with several other players, they can turn Tunsil into a productive player.
Tunsil, once considered the No. 1 prospect available, plummeted down the board when someone allegedly hacked his Twitter account and posted a video of him doing bong hits with an brilliantly designed gas mask device.
One thing you can say about wasters: they have the ability to survey a room and figure out how to turn just about anything into a bong.
Former GM Charley Casserly said on NFL Network that he advises players to stay away from social media. How often have we seen careers destroyed by foolish, hacked or unnecessary posts?
Introducing Your No. 1 Pick!
Earlier this week, Thiscouldbetheyear.com posted two stories discussing organizational culture. By selecting Tunsil, the Dolphins placed huge emphasis on the word “hope.” Actually, Tunsil’s not the only person where various forms of the word will be applied this season. More on that later, but first, two paragraphs from the posts we published:
2. Failure to Evaluate Players: Whether it’s the Draft or Free Agency, a failure to properly assess talent, desire and character can continually create personnel issues for a club.
And in our post Keys to Building Perennial Powerhouse:
Install system of characteristics for players at each position. Personal character and ethics sit at the top of the list — not because we’re some socially aware franchise, but because we want excellent people. We will never accept players with troubled pasts or those who cannot fit into a team dynamic or fail to exhibit an exemplary work ethic.
The Dolphins fell into this ridiculous “value” trap that catches so many NFL teams. A player high on the draft board falls and the team, acting as a slave to their board, views said player as a “steal” and selects him despite issues. This is the persistent bargain hunting and wise-guy attitude where teams often believe they know better than all the clubs who drafted ahead of them.
Keep this fact in mind: The teams drafting above you often own worse records and are usually dysfunctional themselves. So if they decide to pass on a player with a red flag, what makes you think you know more than some of these “winners?”
Every Dolfan will scream ‘What about Dan Marino!?’ and that’s a valid argument as Marino fell to the Dolphins on the back of pre-social media drug rumors. But Marino played under a Hall of Fame coach in Don Shula who was just priming himself for the final, productive run of his amazing career. Here we come to rest at the word ‘hope.’
In the NFL, when a player exhibits character issues, the odds of that player overcoming those issues or changing character, remain historically long. Marino serves as an example of a player who easily debunked the drug rumors with his on-field performance, leadership and demeanor.
For every Marino there’s tens of players — Laurence Phillips (violence), Art Schlichter (gambling), Cecil Collins (sexual predation), Dion Jordan (PEDs, drugs), Charles Rogers (dope, painkillers), Johnny Manziel (alcohol, general stupidity), Rae Carruth (murder) — who bombed out with personal issues.
When it comes to building a quality organization, forget your draft board when something like the Tunsil situation crops up and make a safe choice.
10 Ways Dolphins Relying on Hope
1. Can a 37-year-old, first-time head coach in Adam Gase handle a rancid locker room and all these hopey players?
Remember: Tony Sparano and Cam Cameron joined the Dolphins as highly-touted coordinators and first-time head coaches. At least Sparano won a division title in 2008 thanks to Tom Brady’s season-ending injury in New England. Cameron authored the worst season in team history.
2. Vance Joseph heads into his first season as a defensive coordinator and the Dolphins defense owns a large portion of hope-level players.
3. Ndamukong Suh skipped voluntary veteran mini-camp to “do his own thing.” Would you show up to work if you had not one, but two new bosses and served as the highest-paid player on the team? Wouldn’t you want to exude leadership and report in as a show of support? Apparently Suh continues to alienate teammates.
4. Miami hopes Mario Williams will regain his form after a poor season. Will he be motivated to perform on a team that could very will finish below .500 again? He’s clearly in the final years of his NFL career. Why sign with the Dolphins?
5. Kiko Alonso seeks to bounce back from an injury-plagued 2014.
6. Byron Maxwell played poorly in Philadelphia and some peg him to have a bounce-back season for the Dolphins. They better hope he evolves into Brent Grimes who authored a Pro Bowl season a year after recovering from an Achilles injury.
7. Dion Jordan might play, he might not. Does anyone really care at this point?
8. Ryan Tannehill shows more leadership and blossoms under Gase’s supposed guidance. This is a make-or-break season for both the QB and the team. Miami would be wise to select a QB in the 2nd round as a hedge in case Tannehill stays flat or regresses.
9. The new front office situation ends organizational dysfunction.
The worst thing Ross can do is hire more “consultants” and undermine his personnel.
10. All of these factors pan out and lead to success.
Anyone want to lay odds on how many of these will actually pan out?